Surgical Ablation May Treat AFib Better than Catheter Approach

Research shows that for certain types of patients, a minimally invasive surgical procedure is more effective than using a catheter.

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In a comparison between surgical ablation and radiofrequency catheter ablation to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib), researchers found that the surgical approach is superior in preventing arrhythmias for at least one year. The study, published online Nov. 14, 2011 in Circulation, included patients who were resistant to antiarrhythmic drugs. However, about two thirds of the participants had been treated unsuccessfully with a catheter ablation, suggesting that many patients may simply have a predisposition to catheter-ablation failure.
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