Mon General Physicians Perform First Convergent Heart Procedure in West Virginia

Posted Date: 1/31/2017

Physicians at Mon General Hospital performed a Convergent (hybrid) procedure for atrial fibrillation (AFib) for the first time ever in West Virginia. Convergent is a minimally invasive approach for AFib patients who have no other health issues and for whom medication has been unsuccessful. 

The convergent procedure allows a cardiothoracic surgeon and electrophysiologist to perform a consecutive, two-part procedure in one day rather than over the course of two days. The simultaneous procedure greatly reduced the patient’s recovery time in the hospital.

The procedure was performed last week on a 71-year-old man at Mon General Hospital by Alexander Nagy, MD, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Latoya Linton-Frazier, MD, an Electrophysiologist (EP).

“The surgical part is performed first,” explained Dr. Nagy. “Access to the back of the heart is created through a small one inch incision below the breast bone. Using a scope and high definition camera, the surgeon sees the heart directly and creates long linear lesions on the back of the heart that will interrupt the abnormal arrhythmia circuits, a process known as ablation.”

Dr. Linton-Frazier said, “The procedure, in its simplistic form, is a marriage of technology and technique. I ablate the pulmonary veins and other known triggers of AFib (from an endovascular approach – inside the heart).”

 AFib is a fast, chaotic, irregular heart rhythm. Due to this irregularity, people with AFib are at high risk of blood clots, heart failure, stroke and other heart related complications. More than 6 million patients are affected in the US and the number is expected to increase.

“By offering this convergent procedure to our patients, Mon General Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Center continues to be a leader in the state for cardiac care,” said Darryl Duncan, Mon Health’s President and CEO. “We were the first to perform the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure in the region and continue to have one of the busiest cardiac catheterization labs in the state.”

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Linton-Frazier Nagy

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