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Hybrid Catheter & Surgical Ablation

If you have chronic or difficult-to-treat atrial fibrillation, you may benefit from an innovative heart and vascular treatment at UNC Medical Center that integrates a catheter and a surgical approach into a single procedure.

Integrated Approach to Atrial Fibrillation Care

Choose atrial fibrillation treatment from UNC Medical Center’s team of cardiac surgeons and electrophysiologists (heart rhythm specialists) who collaborate to provide exceptional care. Hybrid catheter and surgical ablation (HyCASA), also known as the convergent procedure, combines the best of surgical and catheter techniques to treat your chronic atrial fibrillation by blocking your heart’s abnormal electrical impulses.

Based on your unique needs, you and your doctor will work with our arrhythmia experts to develop a treatment plan that helps eliminate atrial fibrillation so you can regain a normal heart rhythm. A specialized nurse coordinator navigates you through your treatment plan.

Who Benefits from HyCASA?

HyCASA provides a potential solution if you live with chronic atrial fibrillation or structural heart disease, or if other atrial fibrillation treatments are ineffective.

How Is HyCASA Performed?

HyCASA is a minimally invasive surgery performed in a hospital. Your cardiac surgeon and electrophysiologist will work side-by-side to identify the source of your atrial fibrillation and treat your problem with no large chest incisions, and while your heart continues beating.

During HyCASA, your cardiac surgeon will:

  • Create a small incision in your abdomen
  • Use a special instrument to see the surface of your heart
  • Insert a coagulation device to create scar tissue on the back wall of the left atrium from outside the beating heart

Your electrophysiologist will:

  • Thread a catheter through your vein and up into your heart
  • Use catheter ablation to fill in any remaining gaps from the inside of the heart
  • Test the scar tissue pattern’s effectiveness by attempting to cause atrial fibrillation

You may experience less pain, faster recovery and shorter hospital stay with HyCASA than traditional surgery. After your procedure, you may leave the hospital in three or four days.

HyCASA After Care

Your heart specialist will evaluate your heart rhythm after HyCASA to determine if you still need medication.

Contact Us

Call the Heart & Vascular Center referral line at 866-862-4327 to find specialists, make an appointment or learn more about preventing heart disease.

Open Access is a new physician referral service, created by the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care, which coordinates all admissions and transfers through a single phone call and guarantees immediate acceptance for patients. Please contact us to learn more or call 866-862-4327.

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