Hybrid AFib Therapy

What is Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Therapy?

Hybrid atrial fibrillation therapy is a new FDA-approved treatment for patients with long-standing, persistent atrial fibrillation (LSPAF). It’s sometimes called hybrid ablation. It uses a small incision and a small instrument to perform therapeutic ablation with gentle heat on the outside of the atrial wall. Additionally, a small catheter is inserted to treat the inside of the heart using the same properties. These techniques are called epicardial ablation and endocardial ablation respectively. Endocardial ablation is already performed on its own but does not include the benefits of epicardial ablation. Clinical data has reported that hybrid atrial fibrillation therapy is more effective than endocardial ablation on its own.

Why is Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Therapy Done?

Atrial fibrillation Scottsdale is a condition where the different areas of the heart become out-of-sync with each other. The goal of hybrid ablation is to interrupt the abnormal tissue and electrical signals that cause heart palpitations by generating therapeutic scar tissue. Over time, the ablation process makes the heart beat in sync thus restoring the normal beat that the heart was intended.

When is Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Therapy Needed?

Hybrid atrial fibrillation therapy is best for patients who have long-standing, persistent atrial fibrillation (meaning atrial fibrillation that has been present for more than a year). It’s also best for patients who aren’t progressing with other therapies or medications, or who didn’t achieve results with catheter ablation alone. For these patients, it has one of the highest rates of success for reducing atrial fibrillation symptoms and preventing it from worsening.

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Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Therapy FAQs

What is hybrid AF therapy?

Hybrid therapy for atrial fibrillation is a two-step treatment approach that combines both surgical and catheter-based techniques. In a staged approach, the cardiac surgeons perform an ablation procedure which addresses the electrical circuits on the outside posterior left atrium. This is performed through a minimally invasive incision just under the xiphoid (solar plexus). The electrophysiologist will then do an inside-of-the-heart regular ablation procedure addressing the other areas towards the front of the left atrium.

What are the benefits of hybrid AF?

A. Comprehensive treatment: Atrial fibrillation can be a complex and challenging condition to treat, especially when it involves multiple triggers or coexisting structural heart issues. Hybrid therapy allows for a comprehensive treatment strategy by combining the expertise of both cardiac surgeons and electrophysiologists. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that all aspects of the condition are addressed, potentially leading to better outcomes. B. Individualized treatment: Atrial fibrillation can manifest in different ways and have varying underlying causes in different patients. Hybrid therapy allows for a tailored treatment plan that takes into account the specific needs of each patient. The combination of surgical and catheter-based techniques provides flexibility in addressing the unique characteristics of the patients condition. C. Enhanced success rates: By combining surgical and catheter-based approaches, hybrid therapy aims to improve success rates in treating atrial fibrillation. Minimally invasive surgical portion allows for a wider area of ablation to the back wall of the left atrium. This area is typically challenging for the electrophysiologist to aggressively address because there is risk of damaging the esophagus. The synergy between the two approaches results in more effective treatment outcomes. D. Higher success in complex cases: Atrial fibrillation can be more challenging to treat when it coexists with other heart conditions, such as valvular disease or coronary artery disease. Hybrid therapy offers an effective solution for such complex cases by combining different treatment modalities and addressing multiple issues simultaneously. E. Left atrial appendage exclusion: The surgeons are able to clip the left atrial appendage which potentially allows patients to finally come off blood thinner! This is probably one of the major advantages of this combined approach.

How long does it take hybrid AF to take effect?

Sometimes the effects can be within a couple of weeks other times the healing and inflammation recovery can take 8-12 weeks. Throughout, Dr. Beshai will monitor very closely your progress to ensure that your recovery is moving along in the right direction.

Is there any recovery time after hybrid AF therapy?

After the surgical procedure, you’ll stay at the hospital for approximately two nights. You will most likely be back to work within a week or so. You can likely return to your normal activities within a few weeks.

How safe is hybrid AF therapy?

As a minimally-invasive and FDA-approved procedure, hybrid AF therapy is a safe and effective treatment option. It can be safer and more effective than many other treatment options.

Who is a good candidate for hybrid AF therapy?

You may be a good candidate for hybrid AF therapy if you have long-term atrial fibrillation, have heart chambers that are too large for standard ablation, had an unsuccessful standard or catheter ablation, or have unsuccessfully tried medications and other treatments.

Will I be able to come off blood thinner?

Your risk of stroke with atrial fibrillation is dependent on various factors including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, age, history of prior stroke, and gender. The surgeons will evaluate whether or not they are able to clip the left atrial appendage which potentially allows patients to finally come off blood thinner! This is probably one of the major advantages of this combined approach.

How is Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Therapy Performed?

Hybrid ablation is performed in two steps. The first is epicardial ablation where a one-inch incision is created and a small instrument is inserted. It delivers radiofrequency energy to ablate the outside of the heart. During a secondary procedure, a catheter is inserted near the groin to gain access to the inside of the heart. Similarly to epicardial ablation, endocardial ablation administers radiofrequency energy to ablate the inner tissues of the heart.

What are the Next Steps After Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Therapy?

Hybrid ablation therapy requires an overnight stay during which you’ll be monitored. It’s normal to experience some mild chest discomfort and inflammation. It can take several months for the full benefits of hybrid atrial fibrillation therapy to take effect. During this time, you’ll follow up with Dr. Beshai to monitor your progress and determine when you can return to your normal physical activities. Long term, however, the outlook for atrial fibrillation after hybrid ablation is significantly better.

Schedule Your Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Therapy Appointment

Dr. Beshai is Phoenix’s foremost atrial fibrillation specialist. He can help you manage your atrial fibrillation and explore the best options for treatment using the leading therapies available. To schedule a consultation at the Heart Rhythm Institute of Arizona, contact our office by calling or filling out our online contact form.

The Heart Institute of Arizona has a wide array of services that come with our premium care. From in-office dianostics and treatable conditions, to hospital based procedures, we’ve got your heart covered.




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