Hybrid Ablation

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.

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.

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.




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305 Memorial Medical Parkway

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Daytona Beach, FL 32117

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