In February 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Biosense Webster, Inc.’s THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheter, the first contact force therapy available in the United States for patients with drug-resistant, paroxsymal atrial fibrillation (Afib).
Afib is the most common heart rhythm condition in the United States. More than three million Americans, the majority of whom are over age 65, live with Afib and as a result have a fivefold increased risk of stroke. Afib causes the upper chambers of the heart, or atria, to beat rapidly and in an uncontrolled manner. This irregular beating of the heart affects blood flow and some patients experience a "fluttering" feeling in the chest.
“It kind of feels like a panic attack. I was short of breath and dizzy,” says Sue H., who was diagnosed with Afib.
Symptoms like Sue’s can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, morbidity and mortality. That’s why companies such as Biosense Webster, Inc. are actively working to develop alternative treatments to drug therapy, which doesn’t work for more than half of patients with Afib.
The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheter helps physicians deliver tailored treatment with precision and accuracy, ensuring a very high patient success rate as demonstrated in the SMART-AF Trial that studied the device.
During the minimally invasive contact force therapy procedure, doctors insert a therapeutic catheter through a small incision in the groin where it is then weaved up to the heart through a blood vessel in the leg. Once it reaches the left upper chamber of the heart (atrium), the catheter delivers controlled energy to the heart wall to create lesions that block faulty electrical impulses that can cause heart rhythm disorders. Providing doctors with the ability to apply stable contact force during catheter ablation has led to significantly improved clinical outcomes for patients. Clinical studies show that poor tissue contact may result in incomplete lesion formation that could result in the need for additional treatment, and too much contact force may result in tissue injury, which may lead to complications. Watch how THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheter works in this animated video: http://biosensewebster.com/co-cathablation-ani.php
This important advancement helps clinicians enhance the quality of care they deliver for Afib patients.
“Use of the THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheter can significantly affect outcomes and ushers in a new era of Afib ablation” said Vivek Reddy, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital.