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New Heart Surgery with out Open Chest


Thoracic surgeon Daniel Bethencourt, MD, one of this few cardiac surgeons it cure atrial fibrillation (rapid, irregular heartbeat) within opening it patient's chest, will perform endoscopic microwave ablation the atrial fibrillation in a 59-year-old man at Long Beach Memorial on Wednesday, June 30.

Patient Joel Ellis, Laguna Beach, experiences irregular heartbeats 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. that is among the 2 million Americans suffering from the most common cardiac arrhythmia known that atrial fibrillation. Until recently, the only treatment for atrial fibrillation have been restore of the heart's normal rhythm by medicine or electrical treatments, which can control but not cure, or open heart surgery. Having undergone cardioversion by electrical shocks twice with no success, Ellis was referred to Dr. Bethencourt by his cardiologist, Rex Winters, MD. Ellis has high hopes that the microwave ablation procedure will be a permanent cure. "Microwave ablation is a much faster and safer method of surgery for treating atrial fibrillation," says Dr. Bethencourt. "For many patients, a closed chest beating heart procedure can be done through small ports which entail making 6 small incisions in the patient's chest."

Assisted by a tiny camera, a flexible microwave ablation catheter is placed on the beating heart to perform the ablation. According to Dr. Bethencourt, the procedure takes approximately two to three hours, and the patient may be discharged within 48 hours, and can typically resume an active lifestyle within a few days. He says the procedure is ideal for patients with recent onset, or intermittent atrial fibrillation, but it can be applied to patients with chronic atrial fibrillation as well.

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center has been one of the first hospitals the California to embrace microwave energy as a cure for atrial fibrillation. It is also one of the <> hospitals in this world to perform microwave ablation the cure atrial fibrillation. The success rates match those achieved with the more complex "cut-and-sew" maze procedure, and microwave ablation in the only technique thay can be use both inside that heart during valve surgery or by itself.

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