The Valley Heart and Vascular Institute has completed its first robotic cardiac ablation procedure with the Stereotaxis Epoch™ Platform for complex cardiac conditions. Epoch is a state-of-the-art computer controlled robotic navigation system that allows physicians to safely navigate in a patient’s heart to ablate diseased tissue causing cardiac arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats. The Valley Hospital was the first hospital in New Jersey to complete robotic ablations using the Stereotaxis system, and it recently upgraded its robotic ablation system (Niobe®) to the new Epoch™ platform.
The physician uses sophisticated software to draw a highly detailed 3-D map of the diseased cardiac tissue, and drive powerful magnets positioned near the patient. Following the map, the magnets lead a soft catheter gently through the patient’s cardiac anatomy by guiding the catheter’s magnetic tip. As a result, the patient is exposed to up to 60% less damaging X-ray radiation. There’s also a 10x less chance of chance of major complications such as perforation of the heart.
The first procedure was completed by Suneet Mittal, M.D., Director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory at The Valley Hospital. “This is one of many cutting edge technologies available at a comprehensive cardiac center like The Valley Hospital,” said Dr. Mittal. "We’ve been able to make tremendous advances, achieving unparalleled levels of success and safety for our patients."
More than five million people in the United States currently suffer from abnormal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats. Those who suffer from these abnormal heart rhythms are five to seven times more likely to have a stroke or experience more permanent damage to the heart. Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common arrhythmias, affecting about 2.6 million people in the United States. People with this condition are five to seven times more likely to have a stroke, and also may suffer from permanent damage to the heart, such as congestive heart failure and dilated heart chambers.
"At The Valley Hospital we're proud to be the first in New Jersey to offer this procedure and we have by far the largest experience in performing catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation," said Jonathan Steinberg, M.D., Director of the Arrhythmia Institute of the Valley Health System. A growing number of complex cardiac interventional procedures are driving the need for new technology that enables physicians to confidently treat areas of the heart previously unreachable or potentially unsafe with manual techniques.