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Blake Doctor performs first non-thermal ablation procedure in Manatee County


BRADENTON — HCA Florida Blake Hospital completed its first non-thermal ablation on April 11, 2024, using a new method for treating atrial fibrillation. The new approach can minimize risks associated with traditional thermal ablation, potentially expanding access to AF ablation treatment to more patients.

“We are proud to have performed this innovative procedure, marking a significant advancement in our cardiac care capabilities,” said Steve Young, Chief Executive Officer of HCA Florida Blake Hospital. “This new approach highlights our commitment to providing safe, effective, and state-of-the-art treatments to our community."

During a traditional ablation procedure, a catheter is guided to the interior of the heart and generates extreme temperatures—hot or cold—to destroy targeted areas in the heart associated with abnormal heart rhythms. The non-thermal ablation option, however, relies on tissue-selective, non-thermal electric fields to ablate heart tissue and avoid damage to surrounding structures, reducing surgery time by up to an hour. This reduction is crucial as it minimizes patient exposure to anesthesia, lowers the risk of complications, and expedites recovery.

“We are pleased to have performed the first cardiac ablation procedure in Manatee County using a non-thermal device for the treatment of atrial fibrillation,” said Rajesh Malik, MD, the clinical electrophysiologist who performed the procedure. “The incidence of atrial fibrillation is on the rise, and safe, effective, and efficient therapies allow physicians to treat more patients and reduce complications.”

Atrial fibrillation occurs when the top two chambers of the heart, the atria, beat too fast and have an irregular rhythm (fibrillation). AF, the most common type of arrhythmia, can decrease the heart’s pumping efficiency, which can cause blood cells to pool and stick together, forming clots in the heart and leading to stroke.

People with AF have a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications than those with normal heart rhythms. AF affects nearly two percent of the general population worldwide, and approximately seven million Americans live with this arrhythmia. An estimated 38 million people globally have AF.


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