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Aspirus Heart Care First in Region to Use New Technology to Treat Atrial Fibrillation


Ronnie Ortiz, MD, Aspirus Cardiac Electrophysiologist

As leaders in cardiovascular care, Aspirus Heart Care recently became the first in the region to use pulsed field ablation (PFA) to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib) using the Medtronic PulseSelect™ PFA system.

AFib is one of the most common and undertreated heart rhythm disorders, affecting more than 60 million people worldwide. It is a progressive condition that, if left untreated, can increase the risk of stroke by up to five times and lead to higher rates of heart failure and hospital admissions.

Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that traditionally uses heat or cold to target the heart tissue responsible for the irregular electrical signals that cause atrial fibrillation. PFA differs, in that it uses pulsed electric fields to precisely interrupt electrical pathways in the heart that are firing off the abnormal impulses.

“Pulsed field ablation is a breakthrough in ablation technology because it uses pulsed electric fields to target the pulmonary veins for ablation,” said Aspirus Cardiac Electrophysiologist Kevin Rist, MD, PhD, who performed the first PFA at Aspirus. “Because the mechanism is non-thermal, the risk of incidental structure damage to the heart or surrounding tissue is potentially lower, reducing the risk of complications.”

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the PulseSelect™ system is designed for treating both paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation to help reduce symptoms of AFib and lower the risk of stroke.

"PFA is a much faster procedure; safer than any other ablation modality,” said Aspirus Cardiac Electrophysiologist Ronnie Ortiz, MD. “Patients spend less time under anesthesia and recover much faster. Overall, we believe the Medtronic PulseSelect™ PFA system represents a significant advancement in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.”

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent many of the complications and risks associated with AFib so people affected can still live active lives.

If you or a loved one has AFib, contact the Aspirus Heart Care Atrial Fibrillation Clinic at 715.843.1331.



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