The Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center will be the focus of thousands of cardiologists and other health professionals attending the 31st Annual Heart Rhythm Society convention in Denver on May 13.
For the first time, a hospital in the Western United States has been asked to provide live case presentations of atrial fibrillation catheter ablation procedures via satellite, for the national group.
“This is a great honor for us and our program,” says Dr. John Day, a cardiologist and medical director of heart rhythm services at Intermountain Medical Center and Intermountain Healthcare. “It’s exciting to be able to share our work with the rest of the world on a really grand scale.”
The Heart Rhythm Specialists at Intermountain Healthcare are recognized for their pioneering work, creating a catheter ablation technique that produces excellent long-term outcomes in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Performing the live ablation will allow other physicians to see first hand the technique previously described in only medical journals.
Performing the ablation at
Intermountain Medical Center will be Brian Crandall, MD, and Peter Weiss. MD. Jared Bunch, MD, will narrate the proceedings from the cath lab at Intermountain Medical Center. Dr. Day will provide commentary throughout the procedures on location in Denver, fielding questions from the audience and a panel of experts. The team will be presenting two ablation cases simultaneously in order to maximize the educational demonstration.
Ablation is used as a treatment for a condition known as atrial fibrillation, or A-Fib. Dr. Day describes AF as “total chaos of the upper chambers of the heart.” This means that the heart’s upper chambers quiver, instead of beating rhythmically, which can cause blood to pool and clot in the upper chambers. Other symptoms of AF include rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pains, fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness. Untreated, A-fib can cause premature death by increasing one’s risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease.
To perform the ablation, doctors will insert catheters into a vein in the patient’s leg and neck. Once inside the heart, they will use three-dimensional technology to locate the nerves or cells that are causing the heart to misfire. Those cells will be destroyed by either freezing or cauterization. The end result is that the heart returns to normal rhythm.
“Being able to share this beneficial procedure with our colleagues,” says Dr. Day, “means that means that care for A-fib will improve and patients around the world will benefit from our hard work.”