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Hybrid Ablation Procedure


Groundbreaking Hybrid Procedure for AFib

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center is the only hospital in Wisconsin, and one of only a few in the nation, to offer hybrid ablation (sometimes called the convergent procedure) for atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib is a type of irregular heartbeat, and as many as 6 million Americans have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

While traditional treatments usually can help control AFib symptoms, the AFib often returns after treatment. When it does, the risk of blood clots, stroke or heart failure return as well.

Hybrid ablation is an innovative procedure to stop AFib in its tracks. With one hybrid procedure, doctors can ablate (destroy) targeted tissue in and outside the heart. Ablation blocks the electrical pathways that cause arrhythmia.

Hybrid Ablation’s Results

Compared to traditional treatment, the hybrid treatment has shown:

  • Higher success in eliminating AFib
  • Better long-term results (up to 85% of people remain AFib-free a year later)
  • Improved quality of life after the procedure
  • Lower average cost per person, at five years, versus catheter ablation or medical management alone

Who Is a Candidate for Hybrid Ablation?

You might be a candidate for a hybrid procedure if:

  • You have longstanding atrial fibrillation.
  • Your heart’s chambers are too large for standard ablation.
  • You had an unsuccessful catheter ablation procedure.
  • Medications or other treatments haven’t managed AFib for you.

Safer, More Effective

Watch Aurora heart surgeon Dr. David Kress and Aurora electrophysiologist Dr. Jasbir Sra talk about hybrid ablation for AFib on Fox6 News.

World-Class Care

World-Class Hybrid Ablation Treatment

Our experts work in a truly collaborative environment. Our world-class tools and technology allow us to provide personalized treatment to every person we care for.

Aurora Health Care’s hybrid procedure for AFib offers:

  • Experienced doctors: Our surgeons and electrophysiologists (doctors specializing in the heart’s rhythms) have performed more than 160 hybrid procedures with excellent results. Because of our years of experience with delicate heart procedures, we now offer some of the nation’s experts in hybrid treatment. Meet our cardiovascular and thoracic team.
  • Minimally invasive technique: In addition to excellent results, our hybrid procedure involves less pain and recovery time than open-chest and thoracoscopic procedures. That means you can start healing right away.
  • Comprehensive surgical suites: Our hybrid surgical rooms are the only ones of their kind in Wisconsin, and among only a few in the Midwest. Learn more about our cardiovascular surgery program.
  • Sophisticated tools: Our doctors have access to the latest tools and techniques, including 4-D ultrasound and 3-D CT imaging to visualize the heart in incredible detail before surgery, precise surface contour voltage mapping of the inside and outside of the heart and advanced catheter tools to assist in surgery. Find out more about heart and vascular testing and diagnosis.
  • Training center: Milwaukee is a major training center for other providers to learn the hybrid ablation technique. Our training center features the latest technology and curriculum to help health care experts treat people who have AFib. And the more we teach others to perform the procedure, the more our skills grow. This experience means our skills in helping people overcome AFib are as up to date as possible.

Learn more about our other AFib treatments provided through our Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Center.

What to Expect

What to Expect From Hybrid Ablation Surgery

Hybrid ablation combines two treatment options – catheter-based care and minimally invasive surgery – into a single procedure.

This means that people who have the hybrid procedure only undergo anesthesia once. Hybrid ablation also has just one hospitalization and one recovery. As a result, you can get back to work, family, friends and recreation sooner.

The Hybrid Ablation Procedure

Here is what to expect from the hybrid ablation procedure:

  1. On the day of surgery, we’ll put you to sleep (using general anesthesia) and bring you to the hybrid operating room. This is an electrophysiology (EP) room equipped for sophisticated, computer-supported procedures as well as open surgery.
  2. Before and after ablation, we map the left atrium (upper chamber) of the heart. Using a specialized catheter, we collect voltage signals from 400-500 points in the atrium. This way, we gain insights into how the Afib is occurring, and we will know if we’ve successfully blocked specific areas.
  3. The heart surgeon creates a small incision in the upper abdomen. Working laparoscopically (using small tools inserted through a small incision), the surgeon performs voltage mapping and then ablates (creates scar tissue) on the outside of the heart.
  4. An electrophysiologist then uses a catheter and 3-D mapping to ablate the inside of the heart.
  5. Together, these ablations create scar tissue that blocks the damaged electrical pathways that are causing the irregular heartbeat.
  6. People stay in the hospital for two to three days after the procedure. They can usually go back to work in five to seven days.
  7. We may recommend cardiac rehabilitation to help you complete your recovery. We offer cardiac rehabilitation at locations throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Learn More About Hybrid Ablation

To make an appointment or get more information, please call:

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