For patients unable to take blood thinners, Rambam HCC, implements a new, innovative procedure for treating atrial fibrillation.
Patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation (rapid and irregular heartbeat) are at higher risk for a blood clot, which could be a life-threatening condition – for this reason, most of them take blood thinners. However, some patients (around 90,000 in Israel), cannot take them. Closing the left auricle (upper chamber of the heart – atrium), reduces their risk of a stroke.
For the first time in Israel, during a catheterization procedure, Rambam physicians, can insert an ultrasound device through the vein which provides an accurate image of the heart thereby better-guiding the surgeon during the repair of auricle.
Dr. Mahmoud Suleiman, Director, Levine Family Electrophysiology Unit, Rambam, briefly explained the benefits of the new procedure.
“This is an innovative method. With the ultrasound device, we can clearly see the auricle. The patient is fully vigilant, recovers quickly and does not require life-long-treatment with blood thinning meds. Usually, under full anesthesia, we perform cardiac catheterizations through the vein of the leg, we usually insert an imaging tube through the esophagus, which could cause esophageal injury.”
Suleiman concluded by saying, “I believe that this surgical method will be adopted by other hospitals in Israel in a way that will greatly improve the quality of life of the patients.”
Adapted from an article in the Jerusalem Post.