New technology will benefit patients with cardiac arrhythmias by creating high-density “map” of the heart to pinpoint problem
Desert Springs Hospital is the first hospital in Nevada to utilize the EnSite Precision™ cardiac mapping system, a next-generation platform designed to improve accuracy, automation and flexibility for diagnostic mapping used in ablation procedures to treat patients with abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias). The new system allows physicians to see the electrical flows in the heart in real time.
“This mapping system significantly helps electrophysiologists determine the mechanism and location of common and uncommon cardiac arrhythmias,” explained cardiac electrophysiologist Arjun Guraraj, MD, who performed the first case using the technology on April 4, 2017. “I place catheters within the heart to try to localize the origin of the arrhythmia. This mapping system finds the focus of an arrhythmia by constructing a very high density map of the heart, which can lead me to its location within millimeter accuracy.”
The system maps the heart’s electrical currents by communicating via catheters inside the heart and electrodes on the patient’s back and chest. It can also monitor the patient’s breathing and heart contractions.
Upon locating the arrhythmia, an ablation is performed, which applies heat to the tissue where abnormal heartbeats originate. The heat creates a lesion or scar on the tissue, which makes it incapable of conducting the arrhythmia.
“We are very pleased to offer this new technology to benefit our patients,” said Ryan Jensen, Chief Executive Officer for Desert Springs Hospital. “The ability to accurately pinpoint an arrhythmia’s location and ablate it can reduce the risk of stroke, hospitalization and even death.”
*Mapping system creates faster, more accurate high-density maps to pinpoint the problem area
*Helps physician diagnose the arrhythmia and determine best treatment approach
*Minimizes fluoroscopic radiation exposure
What Are Cardiac Arrhythmias?
Cardiac arrhythmias can be thought of as an electrical short-circuit that can lead to palpitations and very rapid heart rates, explained Dr. Gururaj. Many times, this short-circuit is a very small area within the heart that takes command from the natural pacemaker in the heart. Some arrhythmias are benign, but others can cause serious consequences, including sudden death.
People with cardiac arrhythmias often experience no symptoms; others may experience heart palpitations, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, fainting and anxiousness. Over time, untreated atrial fibrillation can cause a stroke.
As the population ages, the prevalence of patients experiencing cardiac arrhythmias is expected to increase. The most common arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, affects more than three million Americans and millions more worldwide. Cardiac mapping systems help physicians diagnose an arrhythmia and determine the best course of action to successfully manage and treat the irregular heartbeat.
Cardiac Capabilities at Desert Springs Hospital
The addition of the EnSite Precision™ cardiac mapping system is one of several new devices and technology added to Desert Springs Hospital’s extensive cardiovascular services program over the past two years.
In 2016, it was the first in southern Nevada to use the new Absorb dissolving heart stent and to offer patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternative to long-term warfarin (blood thinner) medication with the newly approved WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant.
In 2015, the hospital’s electrophysiology lab began using Stereotaxis Epoch technology, which uses magnets to navigate catheters inside the heart during diagnostic and ablation procedures. By using this technology, patients are exposed to less radiation while undergoing EP procedures. It also minimizes the risk of complications, like perforation, and increases procedural success in treating complex arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and other rhythm disorders of the heart.
Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.
The Valley Health System (VHS) cares for patients throughout Southern Nevada and surrounding communities. Accredited by The Joint Commission, VHS hospitals provide a comprehensive array of medical services including cardiovascular, neurosciences, maternity and women’s health, emergency and surgical care, along with specialty programs in stroke, chest pain, pediatrics, orthopedics, diabetes, wound care, surgical weight loss/bariatrics, geropsychiatric services and acute inpatient rehabilitation units. For more information, visit www.valleyhealthsystemlv.com
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