Patients in the Houston area who suffer from arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation will now have access to a groundbreaking new treatment option in the local area. St. Luke’s Medical Center recently announced that it is the first hospital in the state of Texas to offer the FDA-cleared FIRMap Catheter for atrial fibrillation treatment.
The FIRMap Catheter is a medical device that was developed by Topera, Inc., a Palo Alto, California-based company, which gives doctors visual access to very specific regions in the heart, which could sustain an arrhythmia. The device is paired with a next-generation 3D mapping system in performing FIRM guided ablation, the progressive procedure that accompanies the technology and allows doctors to pinpoint the underlying mechanisms that cause atrial fibrillation.
The FIRM Guided ablation procedure, together with the medical device and 3D mapping, will provide patients in the Houston area or those who travel to St. Luke’s for treatment with the opportunity to significantly reduce physician visits and complement the use of alternative procedures, such as pulmonary vein isolation (PVI). All in all, it is believed that the procedure will diminish atrial fibrillation recurrence rates among patients, which would have a major impact on atrial fibrillation treatment overall.
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Arrhythmia is a common heart condition, which currently affects 2.66 Americans nationwide. It is particularly prevalent in Americans over the age of 65. Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is recognized as the most common among Arrhythmia disorders.
The difficulty in effectively treating heart rhythm abnormalities is locating the exact source of the problem in the heart. St. Luke’s 3D heart mapping technology helps to “pinpoint the source of the electrical impulses disrupting the heart’s normal rhythm, allowing for more effective diagnosis of and treatment planning for a variety of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, atrial tachycardia, and ventricular tachycardia, according to a recent news release on Your Houston News. Abdi Rasekh, M.D., FACC, St. Luke’s Medical Center, commented: “This is an exciting and new technology for mapping what is a complex arrhythmia, which has the potential to revolutionize the approach for atrial fibrillation,” adding that, “Under the leadership of Dr. Ali Massumi, Dr. Mehdi Razavi and I, we have performed five successful rounds of procedures with favorable results.”