LIVINGSTON—The Saint Barnabas Heart Center’s Atrial Fibrillation Center will help community members and hospital visitors learn more about Atrial fibrillation (afib), a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder, on Thursday, Sept. 17 and Monday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s Main Lobby. An advanced practice cardiac nurse will educate participants about the risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than 2.2 million Americans. Afib occurs when stray electrical signals disrupt the body’s natural heart rhythm. It often produces a rapid, irregular and disrupted heart rhythm that can cause fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and other symptoms. Often considered benign, Afib can actually lead to congestive heart failure or stroke.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center is among the first hospitals in New Jersey to use a robotic catheter to improve the treatment options for people with cardiac arrhythmias. “The robotic navigation system changes the way we perform complex minimally invasive electrophysiology procedures,” said Marc Roelke, MD, Director of Electrophysiology at the Saint Barnabas Heart Centers at Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. “It has the potential to dramatically improve the success rate of ablation.”
“Surgical robotic technology has proven to be a tremendous advantage in the operating room and now similar precision and stability are available in minimally invasive catheter-based procedures,” notes John F. Bonamo, MD, Executive Director of Saint Barnabas Medical Center. “We are proud to bring this advancement to patients in New Jersey.”
Ablation is an electrophysiology procedure in which the source of the patient’s heart arrhythmia is mapped, localized, and then destroyed (ablated.) The small scar created is electrically inactive and cannot generate heart arrhythmias. Prior to the introduction of robotic technology, ablation was performed using a manual catheter technique that required the cardiologist to perform complex catheter manipulations with inadequate assurance that the tip of the catheter would respond as desired while inside the patient’s heart.
The Atrial Fibrillation Center, located at both Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, is one of the highest volume atrial fibrillation programs in the New Jersey. The Center’s comprehensive approach to care includes a team of experienced cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and electrophysiologists that provide a complete assessment and treatment plan.
Some heart centers claim a high cure rate for Afib, but fail to follow-up with patients after procedures are completed. The Atrial Fibrillation Center, however, routinely measures the long-term success of treatment by following-up with patients at regular intervals. It is the only center in the region whose team includes an atrial fibrillation nurse practitioner dedicated to tracking the overall success of therapies for people with Afib. This growing database provides invaluable insight in to the most effective treatments for Afib, based on long-term results.
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