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Release Date: 3/20/2014

Dr. Botteron first in Missouri to use newly designed catheter for hearts

Dr. Greg Botteron performs an atrial fibrillation procedure.

Dr. Greg Botteron performs an atrial fibrillation procedure.

79-year-old Patricia House of St. Charles is a spry woman who started losing energy and feeling awful when her heart began to beat irregularly. She was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

An estimated three million Americans suffer from Afib, a progressive disease that increases in severity and frequency and, if left untreated, can lead to chronic fatigue, congestive heart failure and stroke. While most Afib patients today are treated with drugs, about half of patients are not able to control their abnormal heart rhythm with medication or find they cannot tolerate the side effects. When medication proves to be unsuccessful, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association suggest catheter ablation be considered as a safe and effective treatment option.

House will be the first patient in the state of Missouri to undergo a procedure using the THERMOCOOL® SMARTTOUCH® Catheter, the first catheter approved by the FDA in the U.S. to feature direct contact force technology for the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation. This novel innovation enables doctors to accurately control the amount of contact force applied to the heart wall during radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures. 

During a minimally invasive catheter ablation procedure, doctors insert a therapeutic catheter into a vein in the groin where it is then passed into the heart. Once it reaches the left upper chamber of the heart (atrium), the catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to the heart to create lesions that block faulty electrical impulses that can cause heart rhythm disorders. Providing doctors with the ability to apply stable contact force during catheter ablation has been shown to improve patient outcomes as poor tissue contact may result in incomplete lesion formation that could result in the need for additional treatment, and too much contact force may result in tissue injury, which may lead to complications.

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