Dr. Hugh Calkins talks about the atrial fibrillation program at Johns Hopkins where more than 1,000 afib catheter ablation procedures are performed each year – a direct reflection of how common atrial fibrillation has become. Cardiologists at Johns Hopkins have been studying how to improve atrial fibrillation for more than 25 years leading to the clinical advances in understanding who is the appropriate candidate for the procedure, how to lower risks and improve outcomes from afib catheter ablation.
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Learn about the atrial fibrillation program @HopkinsHeart with @HughCalkinsMD.
Click to Tweet mhm. Yeah mm. Yeah. Catheter ablation plays a very important role in treatment of all types of cardiac arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation is the most common and most important at least in my view, heart rhythm condition that we deal with Now over the last 20 years that program has grown. We've done a lot of research. We move the field forward and today it's an extremely large program. We perform nearly 1000 a feb catheter ablation procedures every year Johns Hopkins and that number continues to rise extremely rapidly because because of reflecting how common atrial fibrillation is and how effective catheter ablation has become to treat atrial fibrillation, mm. The johns Hopkins a fib program is unique because we have had a continuous focus on making a fib ablation better Now. We began performing catheter ablation of h fibrillation almost 25 years ago. And when we started performing this procedure we started a database and we would invite patients to be included in the database where we could track their outcomes over time. And we've used that database which continues today to improve the procedure to identify who's the best candidate for the procedure. How can we lower the risk of the procedure? How can we improve the outcomes of the procedure. Now some of the improvements that have made a big difference is first using advanced imaging using M. R. I. And C. T. To define the pulmonary veins and the left atrium. So we have a precise understanding of a patient's unique anatomy That's allowed us to have an extraordinarily low risk of pulmonary vein stenosis. We saw that complication once or twice 25 years ago. But we haven't seen it in 25 years in the last 20 years because we know where we are when we're doing the procedure and we know we shouldn't deliver energy in the pulmonary vein. The risk of strokes has dropped dramatically because we performed the procedure on continuous anti coagulation instead of stopping anticoagulants and restarting it, we've learned it's safe and far and an equally effective to just continue the anti coagulation. We've developed techniques to lower the risk of developing injury to the frantic nerve and the list goes on and on. It's striking as I look back when we when we started this program, complication rates were somewhere between five and 10% cardiac tamponade in one or 2% of patients today, the complication rate of all types of complications is less than 1% mm. There are many reasons why you should consider referring your a fib patients to johNS Hopkins for their offensive ablation procedure. The first and most important reason is that the outcomes we achieve. Our excellent our safety data is second to none. Our efficacy data, second to none and our patient experience is second to none. When I talk to patients who have had their procedure performed at johNS Hopkins by myself for one of my colleagues, almost uniformly, they comment on how nice and professional the staff are, how available the physicians are every procedure I do. I will always give the patient my cell phone and they'll have that forever. They can call me up at any point because when I do a procedure or any of us do a procedure on a patient, we make a lifetime commitment to that patient to get them through it and to help them in their lifes journey. Now in addition to our superb outcomes, which I think are really unrivaled, we also have access to the latest technology. So if your patient is interested in some of the clinical trials were doing of electro operation, super cold trial or computational model ablation, your patient will have a chance to hear about that trial and see if they're interested if they want to go with the standard ablation. That's fine. If they want to be in a clinical trial, That's great too. It's you know, we're committed to that to achieving our best outcomes for every patient. Finally, I just want to say that when we started the ablation program at johns Hopkins Nearly 25 years ago, our quest has always been to get to the point where the procedure, efficacy is 100% and there's no complications. Now we're not there yet but we're never giving up and we will make a commitment to your patient to give them the best experience possible and the best outcomes possible. Mm. Mhm. Yeah