Last week, doctors at Mon General Hospital performed a new hybrid procedure to correct irregular heartbeats – called atrial fibrillation – in a 71-year old patient. The surgery was the first of its kind performed in West Virginia.
Atrial Fibrillation is a fast, irregular heart rhythm. People with the condition are at high risk for blood clots, heart failure, stroke and other heart-related complications. The condition affects more than 6 million people in the U.S.
Two doctors work together during a new type of surgery to fix the condition. A cardiothoracic surgeon first uses a camera and small surgical tool to interrupt the abnormal heart pattern. Then, using the incision the surgeon made, an electrophysiologists works inside the heart to fix known triggers of the irregular rhythm.
The hybrid procedure shortens the surgery from two days to one. It also greatly reduces the patient’s recovery time in the hospital.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.