Canada Pioneers New Heart Treatment

TORONTO, July 13 (UPI) — Doctors at a Toronto hospital are the first in North America to use a breakthrough technology to treat patients with irregular heartbeats, observers say.

Southlake Regional Health Center has begun using a new generation radiofrequency technology for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disturbance, a hospital release said Tuesday.

In atrial fibrillation, upper chambers of the heart beat erratically, affecting the hearts ability to effectively pump blood.

The new technology involves a tissue destruction method to quickly target locations in the heart that cause heart rhythm problems while reducing treatment times and X-ray exposures, the release said.

“Atrial fibrillation is a serious concern, not only for the patients who suffer from the chronic condition but also for Canada as a whole,” said Dr. Khaykin, an electrophysiologist at Southlake who performed the first five procedures using the new technology.

The new technology should be approved for widespread use in Canada in the next three to six months and is currently under investigation in the United States, the release said.

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