Two Doctors Work as Partners to Treat AFib [Video]

When are two better than one? Two hands to clap. Two wheels on a motorcycle. And two physicians to treat atrial fibrillation.

OK, the last one is less familiar, but there’s an innovative way to treat atrial fibrillation that partners two physicians: an electrophysiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon surgeon.

The two-doctor partnership to treat atrial fibrillation is called the hybrid ablation technique

Atrial fibrillation, often called AFib, is a problem with the electrical signals in the heart. It can result in rapid and/or irregular heartbeats, increased risk of stroke, chest pain, heart attack or heart failure.

Up to 6 million people in the U.S. have AFib. Many don’t know it.

AFib becomes more common as we age. Risk factors include:

  • Heart conditions such as coronary artery disease or congenital heart disease.
  • Health problems such as obesity, sleep apnea, and overactive thyroid gland.  It even occurs in athletes who are in excellent fitness. 

With the hybrid ablation technique for AFib, the electrophysiologist and surgeon both work to control the impulses triggering and channeling AFib.  This is done by heating and freezing specific regions in the heart upper chambers, which is called ablation.   Catheters are guided inside the heart with imaging and mapping technology,  and through a mini- incision that allows a small catheter to reach the outside of the back of the left upper chamber under direct vision.

Watch our brief video to learn more about the patient benefits of the hybrid ablation technique for AFib. (Video less than 80 seconds.)


Meet the Author

David C. Kress, MD, is a board certified general cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. He has served as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and is the Director of the Surgical Arrhythmia Program at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center.  

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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