Stereotaxis: Advanced Technology for Treating Heart Arrhythmias
A Gentler Way to Touch the Heart
Although your heart beats for a lifetime, it's a surprisingly delicate muscle. Made up of a network of arteries, veins and small chambers, the heart's thin walls can be damaged by the slightest touch.
Stereotaxis technology is a major innovation in treating this delicate organ because it allows physicians to guide extremely soft and flexible catheters into a beating heart with less risk of the most serious complications and less radiation from the X-rays used to visualize the procedure.
By combining the benefits of precise, computer-aided magnetic guidance with catheters too soft to push through heart tissue, physicians can reach remote areas of the heart that have been difficult, if not impossible, to access before. The potential benefits to patients include:
- 44% less exposure to X-ray radiation due to shorter procedure times
- 28 times less risk of major cardiac adverse events
- Reduced likelihood of referral to more invasive open-heart surgical procedures
- More readily available treatment of highly complex conditions, such as atrial arrhythmias, ventricular tachycardias, and congenital heart disease
Advanced Care in a Modern Setting
At Mills-Peninsula’s new hospital, stereotaxis procedures are performed in a room built specifically for this purpose. Large video monitors installed in the room let the physician and his team view every step of the process and guide the action of the magnets positioned on either side of the patient. These magnets gently pull the soft catheters into place so the physician can treat the heart. For arrhythmias, this typically involves using radiofrequency energy to destroy small areas of heart tissue where abnormal heartbeats may cause an arrhythmia to start.
For the patients’ comfort, the procedure is performed while they are asleep (general anesthesia). Patients typically spend 24 hours or less in the hospital and can resume most normal activities within a few days.
It is rare to have access to this advanced treatment with the comfort and care found in a community hospital. To see where you would be treated, we invite you to tour our brand new hospital online.