Brooklyn, NY (February 14, 2014)—Maimonides Medical Center is at the forefront of treatment for Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib), and is now the only hospital in New York City offering the Convergent Procedure under one anesthesia. A-Fib, an often dangerous rhythm disorder, is one of the most common heart arrhythmias in the world, characterized by an irregular heartbeat, dizziness and shortness of breath. 

“Some people with A-Fib may experience occasional symptoms, while others may experience chronic symptoms,” said Dr. Israel Jacobowitz, Director of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery at Maimonides. “We want to alleviate or eliminate those symptoms for as many patients as possible.”

Dr. Jacobowitz advises patients to call their doctors if they have any symptoms. Your physician will be able to distinguish A-Fib from other heart arrhythmias. And as always, if you’re experiencing chest pain, seek emergency care immediately. 

The Convergent Procedure is an advanced form of heart ablation. Utilizing radio frequency to “rewire” the heart’s electrical system, cardiologists ablate the inside of the heart’s chambers while surgeons ablate the outside, thereby correcting A-Fib. Maimonides was among the first hospitals in the nation to provide this groundbreaking treatment, and continues to be the only hospital in the NYC area to provide both approaches under one anesthesia.

Requiring only a single two-centimeter incision in the abdomen, the surgeon is able to obtain complete cardiac visibility without chest incisions, ports or lung deflation. At the same time, the cardiologist uses a catheter approach in the groin to reach the inside of the heart’s chambers. Performed in the sophisticated Maimonides hybrid operating room, our specialists incorporate Electrophysiology diagnostic mapping to confirm the isolation of pulmonary veins.

This A-Fib treatment results in a hospital stay of only 48-72 hours, and a fast recovery time for our patients. The goal of offering this new procedure to our patients is to ensure patient safety by providing a lower procedural risk and a higher long-term success rate. 

“Patients undergo one dosage of anesthesia while the cardiac surgeons and cardiologists perform the convergent procedure,” said Dr. Felix Yang, Associate Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology at Maimonides Medical Center. “This reduces risks for all of our patients and provides the best possible outcomes.”

The American Heart Association reports that following a convergent procedure, 80% of patients remained in normal sinus rhythm and off anti-arrhythmic drugs six months later. The Convergent Procedure is a viable and safe treatment option for more difficult A-Fib cases, potentially eliminating the need for long-term dependence on anti-arrhythmic drug therapy.

Not everyone with atrial fibrillation needs this procedure; our center evaluates each patient on an individual basis to direct appropriate therapy and optimize patient results while decreasing risk.

The Maimonides Heart & Vascular Center has a stellar reputation for excellence that spans over 100 years. Known as a prestigious Heart Hospital since the middle of the 20th Century, Maimonides is one of the most comprehensive cardiac centers in the nation, offering invasive and noninvasive, medical and surgical, adult and pediatric care.

The specialists at the Maimonides Heart & Vascular Center partner with referring doctors, patients and their families in exploring the most appropriate treatments for each case. Few hospitals in the nation rival its success in the treatment of cardiac disease. In fact, according to the latest report from the federal government, Maimonides is among only 25 hospitals in the US to achieve outstanding patient outcomes for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.

To learn more about the convergent procedure for yourself or a loved one, call 718-283-8284.


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Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000    |