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Overland Park Regional performs region's first atrial fibrillation ablation treatment

Dr. DJ Lakkireddy, cardiac electrophysiology specialist, performed ablation catheterization to interrupt irregular electrical pathways in the heart.

March 11, 2024
Dr. Lakkireddy and nurses stand beside patient Kristine Benson's bed, each holding up their index fingers in recognition of this first-time procedure.

Overland Park, Kan. — Overland Park Regional Medical Center — part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider — announced the treatment of the first patient in Kansas and Missouri with the Medtronic PulseSelect™ Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System that uses PFA. The breakthrough technology uses pulsed electric fields to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) to treat patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF. DJ Lakkireddy, MD, cardiac electrophysiology specialist and Executive Medical Director of Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute at Overland Park Regional Medical Center and several highly-trained cardiology nurses and caregivers led the procedure.

Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the system effectively, efficiently, and safely treats paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation. AF is a progressive condition that affects more than 59 million people worldwide.1-3 Without early intervention, AF can progress, becoming more sustained over time. Progression of AF is associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular admissions4, heart failure5, and mortality4,6, along with a reduced quality of life7.

The state-of-the-art system delivers pulsed electric fields through an ablation catheter explicitly designed to interrupt irregular electrical pathways in the heart that trigger AF. Current ablation technologies rely on thermal effects to target cardiac tissue and risk damage to additional collateral structures in the heart. The breakthrough ablation technology uses pulsed electric fields to isolate the pulmonary veins for the treatment of AF efficiently. Because the mechanism of cell death is non-thermal, the risk of collateral structure damage is potentially lower.

Patient story: Kristine Benson, 59, McPherson, Kan.

Three years ago, Benson was working with a personal trainer. During warm-ups, her trainer noticed that her heart rate would become irregular. Benson said it was “no big deal,” but her trainer urged her to seek medical advice before they resumed training. She was diagnosed with AF, underwent an ablation, and was told she would eventually need another ablation. Now, two years later and still being affected by the symptoms, Benson met with internationally-known Dr. Lakkireddy, who agreed it was time for the second, and hopefully final, ablation to improve and preserve her quality of life.

“This procedure gave peace of mind about my heart health and allows me to regain normalcy in my everyday activities,” Benson said.

“AF is a growing cardiac concern worldwide, and we are treating more young patients looking for answers and treatment,” Dr. Lakkireddy said. “The specifically designed ablation catheter, which is now FDA-approved, can provide patients with a treatment option for AF that doesn’t cause unwanted injury to surrounding tissues like traditional ablation technologies — helping physicians put patient safety, combined with high quality, compassionate care first. We are honored to have treated the first patient throughout the region with this new technology, and look forward to providing hope for other patients, while advancing the future of AF treatment with innovative solutions to those suffering from AF.”

“This breakthrough procedure performed today at Overland Park Regional Medical Center is yet another advancement in the heart care our team provides the region,” said CEO Matt Sogard. “The world-class cardiac services and advanced technology we provide allows patients to receive high-quality cardiac care in their backyard and remain close to family and friends.”

1de Vos CB, Pisters R, Nieuwlaat R, et al. Progression from paroxysmal to persistent atrial fibrillation clinical correlates and prognosis. J Am Coll Cardiol 2010;55:725-31.

2Proietti R, Hadjis A, AlTurki A et al. A Systematic Review on the Progression of Paroxysmal to Persistent Atrial Fibrillation: Shedding New Light on the Effects of Catheter Ablation. JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2015;1:105-115.

3Roth GA, Mensah GA, Johnson CO et al. Global Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk Factors, 1990-2019: Update From the GBD 2019 Study. J Am Coll Cardiol 2020;76:2982-3021.

4Miyasaka Y, Barnes ME, Bailey KR, et al. Mortality trends in patients diagnosed with first atrial fibrillation: a 21-year community-based study. J Am Coll Cardiol 2007;49:986-92.

5Almeida ED, Guimaraes RB, Stephan LS, et al. Clinical Differences between Subtypes of Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter: Cross-Sectional Registry of 407 Patients. Arq Bras Cardiol 2015;105:3-10.

6Lubitz SA, Moser C, Sullivan L, et al. Atrial fibrillation patterns and risks of subsequent stroke, heart failure, or death in the community. J Am Heart Assoc 2013;2:e000126.

7Dudink E, Erkuner O, Berg J, et al. The influence of progression of atrial fibrillation on quality of life: a report from the Euro Heart Survey. Europace 2018;20:929-34.

Marketing Contact for Press Releases

Chris Hamele

March 11, 2024
Overland Park Regional Medical Center

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