Minimally Invasive Treatment for Chronic Afib
The Convergent Procedure is a new, minimally invasive approach to treat persistent Afib, pioneered by the Rocky Mountain Heart Rhythm Institute (RMHRI) at Rose. Rose leads the nation in performing this procedure, which uniquely combines the best of both traditional catheter and surgical ablation treatments to restore normal heart rhythm – resulting in a viable treatment approach to types of Afib previously thought untreatable. Rose has the only Convergent team in the Western United States.
What is Afib (Atrial Fibrillation)?
Patients with AFib have heartbeats that beat at a significantly faster than a normal heartbeat. Because Afib causes the heart to beat at a faster rhythm, blood is not completely pumped from the heart’s atria, increasing the chances of pooling and clotting.
How does the Convergent Procedure work?
The procedure combines the expertise of two doctors working together: a cardiac surgeon and electrophysiologist, or EP. The cardiac surgeon makes three small abdominal incisions and then is able to send a video-scope and catheter to the back of your heart. The surgeon is able to ablate (or create small scars) on the back of your heart in order to stop the electrical activity causing your Afib.
Once the surgeon completes the ablation on the outside of the heart, the EP then threads an ablation catheter through the femoral vein in the groin to reach the inside of the heart to perform complex electrical-anatomic mapping and to ablate abnormal signals that occur in predictable locations on the inside of the left atrium (specifically in and around the pulmonary veins).
Who is a Candidate for the Convergent Procedure?
Generally, patients that benefit most from the Convergent procedure have had their afib treated, often with ablation, at least one time before and, after a time, the afib came back. This procedure is designed for those patients who have chronic, also known as persistent or long-standing, afib and may have been told it is untreatable.
What are the Benefits of Having the Convergent Procedure Done?
The most impactful benefit to using the Convergent approach to get rid of afib allows for an overall improved quality of life: patients feel better and have more energy. We often hear that patients didn’t realize how much afib “slowed them down” until the afib is treated with Convergent. Many patients also are able to go off heart medications, another significant benefit. The recovery time from having the Convergent approach is also shorter than traditional surgical treatments.
From our team’s research tracking our patient outcomes, we have found that patients are 80-to-90 percent likely to stay out of afib following the Convergent Procedure.
“It’s a miracle…it is a miracle.”
Hear from a Rocky Mountain Heart Institute at Rose patient whose life was changed by the Convergent Procedure.
What are the Risks Associated with the Convergent Procedure?
The risks associated with the Convergent Procedure are not any higher than with other surgical procedures—and, in fact, can be much less.