Doctors Use Eco-friendly Technology to Ablate AFIB | Environment

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Doctors Use Eco-friendly Technology to Ablate AFIB
Environment, Health, News
Doctors Use Eco-friendly Technology to Ablate AFIB

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Richard McCoy, 66, has always enjoyed an active lifestyle between tending to his greenhouse, working full time and playing with his three grandchildren. When all of this was compromised by a heart condition, McCoy’s doctors turned to Soundstar®eco technology to help fix his ticker.

In early 2011, McCoy felt increasingly drained of energy and at times felt his heart beating faster. His work cultivating his greenhouse and the gardens surrounding his home were left incomplete or put off for later dates.

He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFIB), the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm. McCoy was referred to St. Vincent’s Medical Center for treatment, where he underwent cardioversion, a procedure that shocks the heart back into a regular rhythm. Despite initial success with cardioversion, the relief was only temporary and his heart went back into AFIB.

Dr. Saumil Oza, a cardiac electrophysiologist with Diagnostic Cardiology Associates (DCA), who practices at St Vincent’s Medical Center, presented catheter ablation as an option for treatment to McCoy.

Dr. Oza said catheter ablation was a natural choice for McCoy. He explained the procedure to McCoy and added that the horticulture enthusiast would become the first patient on the East Coast to undergo the procedure with new, eco-friendly technology from Biosense Webster called Soundstar® eco.

Catheter ablation involves threading a catheter through a vein in the leg up into the heart to cauterize and scar the abnormal tissue that causes AFIB. Essentially, it isolates the abnormal pieces of heart tissue from the rest of the heart, allowing the organ to function properly. Dr. Oza’s success rate with this procedure is around 70 percent with some patients required to take a few medications to maintain normal rhythm.

The new Soundstar® eco cables and catheters integrate with the existing Carto®Sound module, which allows physicians to navigate the chambers of the heart using 3D mapping technology during the catheter ablations.  Soundstar® eco cable is validated for 1,000 connections -- a dramatic increase in reuse capabilities. This advancement produces a 50-fold decrease in medical waste versus the previous 20-use cable. The Soundstar® eco catheter also reduces electronic waste by transferring electronic components from the catheter to the reusable cable, reducing numerous pollutants.

“In addition to the benefit of reducing environmental impacts, by putting the precious metals into the cable – a more permanent part of the system – we get more reliable catheters,” Oza said.  “More reliable catheters mean more consistent procedures.”

Manufacturer Biosense Webster has limited the release of Soundstar® eco to four sites in the U.S. – two in California , one in Texas and one in Jacksonville, Florida.  The technology will be available nationwide during the first week of May. Hospitals that decide to invest in this eco-friendly line, not only do their part in reducing their carbon footprint, but also save $15-$20 per procedure in sanitation costs.

Dr. Oza successfully completed McCoy’s catheter ablation on March 19. McCoy was released from the hospital the day after the procedure. He returned to work two days after the ablation, relieved to be feeling back to his pre-AFIB self.

McCoy wasn’t a stranger to heart problems or St. Vincent’s, having undergone heart bypass surgery at the facility in the summer of 1999.

“When my general practitioner referred me to St. Vincent’s, I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that I’d be receiving the best care in town,” McCoy said. “

With the surgery completed, McCoy looks to regain his energy and join his wife, Virginia, in tending to their greenhouse and finishing up projects on the land. He said he’s glad his surgery was completed with eco-friendly technology.

“I respect the fact that the surgery spared the land a bit,” he said. “As someone who’s integrated nature into my life, it’s great to see that the technology that gave me my life back also has an eco-friendly component.”

If you are experiencing symptoms of Afib or are interested in the catheter ablation treatment, visit 

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