Hybrid Convergent Approach for Treatment of Arrhythmia

Our network partner at Danbury Hospital’s Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center offers an advanced treatment for heart arrhythmia called the Hybrid Convergent Approach. This innovative therapy combines the best of electrophysiology (EP) and cardiac surgery capabilities to provide minimally invasive treatment for longstanding cardiac arrhythmia.

Advantages to treatment with the Hybrid Convergent Approach include:

  • It requires only a small (one inch) incision in the abdomen, with no chest incisions or ports.
  • It brings minimal pain.
  • The hospital stay is short.
  • We are able to use specialized diagnostic tests during the procedure to predict its success.

Not available to patients who have had a previous chest surgery, such as heart bypass or valve repair surgery, the Hybrid Convergent Approach may be a treatment option if you have:

  • A history of living with arrhythmia for many years.
  • Structural heart disease.
  • An enlarged/growing atrium (greater than or equal to 4.5 cm or less than or equal to 6.0 cm).
  • Had no success with previous catheter treatments, cardioversion or medications (AADs or beta blockers).

How the Hybrid Convergent Approach Works

The Hybrid Convergent Approach 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 electrophysiologist (EP) work as a team. Through a small incision (2 cm) in the abdomen, the surgeon creates comprehensive, linear lesions on the outside surface of a beating heart; this means there are no invasive chest incisions and/or ports, as in other surgical procedures. Next a catheter is threaded through the femoral vein (in the groin) to reach the heart. Once there, it is used to complete the ablation pattern and to perform diagnostic tests to confirm that all abnormal electrical signals have been interrupted.

Patients who’ve undergone the Hybrid Convergent Approach may be able to reduce, or even stop taking, their daily heart rhythm medications. A typical hospital stay following treatment is two to three days.