A new device developed by an Ohio University scientist helps reduce the risk of esophageal damage during an ablation operation for atrial fibrillation.
- Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to stroke.
- This disorder can be treated by removing the heart tissue causing the arrhythmia.
- A new device limits the risk of damage to the esophagus associated with this procedure.
Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder characterized by rapid and irregular rhythm. It is due to a malfunction of the two upper chambers of the heart, the atria, which are no longer coordinated with the ventricles to maintain a regular rhythm. This disease affects millions of people worldwide and can have serious health consequences: blood clots can form and cause a stroke.
Treatment of atrial fibrillation
The treatment of atrial fibrillation is most often based on the prescription of anti-arrhythmia drugs. But in some cases, a surgical procedure called removal may be necessary. This procedure involves removing the areas of heart tissue causing the disorder by exposing them to intense cold. Although this procedure is effective, it is often associated with complications, including esophageal damage.
Risks of esophageal damage during atrial fibrillation ablation
When a patient undergoes ablation surgery for atrial fibrillation, the catheter used to reach the heart can cause damage to the nearby esophagus. Esophageal damage can lead to pain, difficulty swallowing, infection, and even bleeding. It is therefore important to find solutions to avoid these complications and improve the safety of this surgical procedure.
A new device to reduce the risk of esophageal damage
To answer this problem, a scientist from the University of Ohio has developed a new device called ESOlution. This device allows the esophagus to be diverted out of reach of the catheter used during the cardiac ablation operation, which greatly reduces the risk of damage to the esophagus. It was tested in a clinical trial of 120 patients with atrial fibrillation who underwent heart ablation surgery. The results showed that without its use more than a third of patients had esophageal lesions. In contrast, when the device was used, less than 5% of patients had damage to the esophagus.
A significant advance in the treatment of atrial fibrillation
If approved by the FDA, this device will be the first therapy specifically developed and tested to prevent ablation-related damage to the esophagus. Patients with atrial fibrillation will thus be able to benefit from a safer and less risky operation for their health. This new technology makes it possible to reduce the complications associated with this surgical intervention and to reduce the recovery time for patients.
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