Phoenix hospital using innovative technology to treat heart ailment

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PHOENIX – A Phoenix hospital debuted a groundbreaking treatment option for irregular heartbeats last week.

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix said Thursday it became the first hospital in the western United States to use the FARAPULSE Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System to treat atrial fibrillation (irregularly fast heart rate).

The hospital on McDowell Road near 12th Street starting using the FARAPULSE PFA System just weeks after the Boston Scientific catheter device received FDA approval in January.

Why is new atrial fibrillation treatment better?

The innovative technology uses electric fields for a procedure known as ablation, when heart tissue that is causing abnormal heart rhythms is purposely destroyed. Older procedures use extreme heat or cold to destroy tissue, which could damage surrounding areas and lead to complications such as pulmonary vein stenosis or esophageal injury.

“As an academic medical center, our patients deserve access to state-of-the-art technology and evidence-based medicine. Our cardiovascular team provides outstanding cardiovascular care every day while investigating novel therapies and educating the next generation of cardiologists to serve our community,” Daniel Post, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix CEO, said in a press release. “We are pleased to offer this new therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation and help them to restore their health.”

The FARAPULSE PFA System is faster than the other ablation procedures and reduces the risk of complications, according to Banner Health. The system will be made available at the Tucson branch of Banner – University Medical Center in March.

Phoenix doctor excited about new device

“I was excited to see the promise of the FARAPULSE PFA System during the clinical trial period with our patients — it is easier and faster to use for A-fib patients needing an ablation,” Dr. Wilber Su, who performed the first procedure using the technology at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, said in the release.

“Now that it’s FDA approved and widely available, we can enhance the care for patients in need throughout the Southwest region at our academic medical centers in Phoenix and Tucson.”

About seven million Americans are affected by atrial fibrillation, putting them at a higher risk for stroke, heart failure and other complications, Banner Health said.

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