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EJGH Physicians Complete Milestone Convergent Procedure For A-Fib Treatment

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Pioneering surgery places EJGH in the Top 5 in the U.S.

METAIRIE, LA., April 29, 2014 – East Jefferson General Hospital, led by Cardiovascular Surgeon, Dr. Michael Brothers and Cardiac Electrophysiologists, Drs. James McKinnie and Zhen Jiao, have completed the 100th Convergent Procedure for the treatment and cure of atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). EJGH has been placed in the top five in the United States for this milestone and pioneering procedure. These New Orleans doctors are proud of how their medical advancement is changing how cardiac care is delivered throughout the country.

A-Fib, the leading cause of a stroke, is a common heart condition where the chambers of the heart beat out-of-synch or rhythm. This can be extremely dangerous, as the heart is unable to properly push the needed blood through the body, causing shortness of breath, chest palpitations, and the feeling of being faint. Common treatments, like anticoagulant medication, have limited success and are not effective for longstanding, persistent A-Fib.

“The Convergent Procedure really is taking the best of multiple procedures and surgeries and combining them into one so that we can offer patients with longstanding, persistent A-Fib a treatment that is not only more effective but safer with less trauma on the body,” says Dr. Brothers. “We are seeing outstanding cure rates of about 80 – 85 percent. And, we expect that percentage to go up as we advance the procedure.” Dr. McKinnie says, “The success of our convergent program stems from the fact that we are able to bring the surgeon and the electrophysiologist together on the same case using the latest technologies so that we each can do what we do best.”

During a Convergent Procedure, the surgeon first enters into the chest through a small, single port and uses an ablation technique to burn a pattern of lesions into the beating heart through radio frequencies, eliminating the need for a heart-lung machine. The electrophysiologist follows by placing a catheter in the femoral vein in the groin and leading it inside the heart to ablate the areas that the surgeon could not access. This procedure allows for shorter hospital stays and recovery time.

CLICK HERE for more information on cardiovascular services at EJGH, or to make an appointment with a cardiovascular specialist call HealthFinder at 504-456-5000.