Convergent Approach

New Treatment Options for Longtime Arrhythmia Sufferers

A truly minimally invasive approach that combines the best of electrophysiology (EP) and cardiac surgery treatments to help restore normal heart rhythm for longtime arrhythmia sufferers, including patients with structural heart disease who may have previously failed one or more other treatments.

  • Performed in a single setting in the EP lab
  • One inch incision in the abdomen - no chest incisions or ports
  • Minimal pain
  • Short hospital stay
  • Specialized diagnostic tests used to predict success

Who may be a candidate for the Convergent Approach?

  • Those living with arrhythmia for many years
  • Those with structural heart disease
  • Those with an enlarged/growing atrium ( greater than or equal to 4.5 cm or less than or equal to 6.0 cm)
  • Those who have failed previous catheter treatments
  • Those who have been ineffectively managed with drugs (AADs, beta blockers) or cardioversion

Who is not eligible for the Convergent Approach?

Anyone who has had a previous chest surgery, such as heart bypass or valve repair surgery.

How is the procedure performed?

The procedure uses radiofrequency (focused heat) to produce lesions (scar tissue) on the heart to block abnormal electrical signals. During the procedure, a cardiac surgeon and an EP work as a team, in a single setting. The surgeon is able to create comprehensive, linear lesions on the outside surface of a beating heart through a small incision (2cm) made in the patient’s abdomen, instead of through invasive chest incisions and/or ports, as in other surgical procedures. The EP then threads a catheter through the patient’s femoral vein, in the groin, to reach the heart and fill in any gaps in the completed ablation pattern and utilizes diagnostic techniques to confirm all abnormal electrical signals have been interrupted.

What is recovery like?

Most patients who’ve undergone The Convergent Approach experience restored normal heart rhythm and have been able to stop taking daily heart rate and rhythm medications shortly following treatment. Typical hospital stays have lasted two to three days.

For More Information

If you have questions about Cardiology, visit our patient and visitor information section, or ask your doctor about Danbury Hospital. For a doctor referral call us at 1-(800) 511-7821, or search our Find a Doctor online tool to find a doctor near you.