January 22, 2015

Posted: January 23, 2015 at 12:44 am

Las Vegas hospital gets tech boost in cardiac care

A tech-savvy procedure involving magnets to fix heart arrhythmias debuted at Desert Springs Hospital Tuesday and is the first of its kind in the state.

Inside the new electrophysiology operating room sit two 2,000-pound rare-earth magnets on either side of an operating table. Across the way is a large glass window that connects to what is, in essence, a command center a small room filled with high-functioning computers where doctors will use heart-mapping software and the magnets to precisely guide catheters to the sources of irregular heartbeats.

The procedure called a cardiac catheter ablation used to be performed manually, with doctors steering the catheters to the problem spots based on electrocardiogram signals. Then the catheters burn the tissue triggering the abnormal impulses, said Lloyd Gauthier, a lead radiologic technologist at Desert Springs.

With the new technology, the catheter is magnetized and doctors use a joystick to guide the catheter to the tissue producing the arrhythmia, Gauthier said.

The manual procedure took two to eight hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the heartbeat abnormalities.

Hopefully, with the new technology of these magnets, it will cut that time down because were able to get exactly where we need to go quicker and more precise, Gauthier said.

Read the full article from Las Vegas Sun here

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