Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorder). The convergent procedure is a hybrid (mixed) approach that combines minimally invasive heart surgery and traditional catheter ablation to treat persistent atrial fibrillation.
This treatment has a higher success rate than surgery or ablation alone. It is best for patients with persistent atrial fibrillation who have not responded to other treatments, including medication and traditional ablation.
How the Convergent Procedure Works
The convergent procedure takes the best of what cardiac electrophysiology offers and combines it with minimally invasive surgical techniques. It is performed by both a cardiothoracic surgeon and an electrophysiologist. You will be put under general anesthesia for this procedure.
During the convergent procedure, your cardiothoracic surgeon will make a small incision in your abdomen. Your surgeon will guide a scope through the incision to your heart and use extreme heat or cold to strategically destroy (ablate) abnormal tissue on the outside of the heart.
Your electrophysiologist will then insert a catheter (thin tube) through an artery or vein in your groin and guide it to the heart. Using extreme heat or cold, your electrophysiologist will ablate the heart tissue that causes the abnormal heartbeat.
You will need to remain in the hospital for one to two days after the procedure.