Cardiologist with Mercy Health - The Heart Institute First in Midwest to Use New Catheter to Treat Atrial Fibrillation

(CINCINNATI; November 24, 2014) – Mercy Health – Cincinnati, which provides advanced, quality care with compassion in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that on November 4, 2014, cardiologist and electrophysiologist Rajinder Singh, MD of Mercy Health – The Heart Institute became the first physician in the Midwest to use a new technology -- the TactiCath™ Quartz Contact Force Advanced Ablation System -- to treat atrial fibrillation.

“The patient went into normal rhythm during the procedure and has stayed that way since,” says Dr. Singh of the successful first outing of the new catheter.

An abnormal electrical signal travelling through the heart causes atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, the most common type of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. The faulty signal makes the upper chambers of the heart, known as the atria, fibrillate, or contract very quickly and irregularly. It also causes the lower chambers of the heart, known as ventricles, to beat faster than they should, making them pump blood inefficiently. According to the American Heart Association, 2.7 million Americans have the condition, which can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

One treatment option for atrial fibrillation is ablation, a non-surgical procedure that uses heat to disconnect the tissue that’s causing the faulty electrical signal. During the minimally-invasive procedure, the doctor inserts a catheter into a blood vessel in the upper leg, moving it through the circulatory system to the heart. Once the catheter reaches the problem-causing tissue, it heats to burn away the faulty tissue.

The TactiCath™ Quartz Contact Force Advanced Ablation System measures contact force, the amount of pressure (in grams) that a catheter tip exerts, to ensure the physician burns away just the right quantity of tissue to treat the AFib and restore the patient’s normal heart rhythm. The Department of Health and Human Services approved the device for use on October 24, 2014 and it is available at Mercy  Health – The Heart Institute locations.

“This new system gives me useful information on just how far I need to go when performing an ablation to treat a patient’s AFib successfully,” says Dr. Singh, who serves as Director of  Electrophysiology at Mercy Health – Anderson Hospital. “This increases the accuracy of the ablation procedure and reduces the likelihood that patients will need further treatment for recurring AFib in the future.”

Patients with heart disease often have complex needs. Mercy Health – The Heart Institute provides patients with cutting-edge technology to both diagnose and treat heart disease. Whether a patient needs a non-invasive technique, interventional procedure, vein therapy or surgery, The Heart Institute’s team is committed to providing the highest quality care. The Heart Institute’s unique care approach follows the patient into good health by providing the appropriate rehabilitation, outpatient follow-up and education about how to stay healthy and prevent further complications.