Atrial Fibrillation, otherwise known as AF, is an irregular and unusually fast heart rate, resulting in symptoms like heart palpitations, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Treating atrial fibrillation is important because AF can cause stroke, heart failure and negatively impact your quality of life. People with AF are five to seven times more likely to form blood clots and suffer a stroke. Fortunately, AF may be treated with medication, cardioversion, catheter ablation or surgical ablation procedures, like the Fusion Minimally Invasive Pulmonary Vein Isolation.

Atrial Fibrillation occurs when the atrium, or the top chamber of the heart, beats very rapidly and irregularly or fibrillates. This means blood is not pumped efficiently into the ventricles which may cause you to feel weak or tired, or to experience uncomfortable heart sensations like a racing or irregular heartbeat. Some people have AF occasionally (paroxysmal AF), while others experience persistent (requires cardioversion to terminate) or permanent AF (remain in AF despite cardioversion), and the type of AF you experience may influence the type of treatment you doctor may recommend to cure or manage your AF.

Atrial Fibrillation is largely caused by abnormal electrical signals that spread throughout the atria. Ablation procedures, the only known cures for AF, are designed to isolate the abnormal electrical signal (or stop the spread of the signal). In the majority of cases, these abnormal signals originate in the pulmonary veins and so this area is often the focus of ablation procedures.

Fusion Minimally Invasive Surgical Ablation

The Fusion Minimally Invasive (MI) Surgical Ablation procedure is designed to successfully cure AF in up to 90% of patients.

How it works

The Fusion Ablation catheter uses radiofrequency (RF) electrical energy to create a lesion around all the pulmonary veins of the left atrium of the heart. The RF energy creates a lesion or line that stops the spread of the abnormal AF signals that originate in the pulmonary veins. When the electrical signal is stopped, patients remain in a normal synchronous heart beat, or what doctors call sinus rhythm.

About the procedure

While you are asleep under general anaesthesia, your surgeon will make 3 small incisions between the spaces in the ribs. Then minimally invasive surgical “ports” are placed in these incisions to operate through. One of the “ports” is used for a high definition endoscopic camera to see your heart, while the other two “ports” are used to place the Fusion Ablation Catheter and surgical instruments. Using special magneic introducers, the Fusion Ablation Catheter is placed on the outside of the heart around the pulmonary veins, using suction to keep the catheter in place while the RF energy is delivered. When the ablation is finished the catheter is removed and we conduct a test to make sure the procedure has worked.

Benefits and Risks

As with any surgical procedure, there are benefits and associated risks with surgical ablation. An important benefit of successful surgical ablation is that you may lessen the symptoms caused by atrial fibrillation, like shortness of breath, fatigue, or weakness. Talk to your surgeon about all benefits and risks.

How it Works

Frequently Asked Questions