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   New surgery tech for most common heart rhythm condition marks new era of shorter waiting lists and safer, faster treatment
 St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside is leading the way in the use of innovative new technology to treat the most common heart rhythm condition - which most importantly is expected to cut waiting times and make surgery safer and faster.
In August 2023, Cardiologists and electrophysiologists A/Prof. Haris Haqqani and Dr Tomos Walters performed the first Pulsed Field Ablation procedures in a private hospital in Queensland using new technology to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) - one of the most common cardiac disorders currently affecting around 600,000 Australians.
Brisbane man, Tim Woolley, aged 80, was sitting up in a
St Vincent’s Private Hospital ward bed just hours after the surgery, delighted that his procedure had gone very smoothly and elated that he would be going home the next day.
While other heart disease may be relatively on the decline due to awareness and health programs, AF is increasing (due to an ageing population as well as lifestyle factors) with around 2% of Australians having the common cardiac condition. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it may lead to complications such as heart failure or stroke.
“This new technology is worth its weight in gold and it’s fair to say it’s quite revolutionary. It is clear that it is safer and more efficient for the patient – which is important given that most of the patients who need this procedure are aged in their 60s, 70s and some in their 80s,” says A/Prof. Haqqani.
Main photo: New technology in action Left: A/Prof. Haris Haqqani
Mr Woolley was only recently made aware of the new technology by Dr Walters and the fact that it was a lower risk option. “If you want to live to a ripe old age you look after your heart. I was told this was new technology, and I’m the type of person who’s happy to try anything new so long as the risk is no greater,” said Mr Woolley.
“I knew I was in good hands and never had a moment’s
qualm about the procedure when I arrived at St Vincent’s for the procedure. Before I went in for surgery my heartbeat was very irregular but since I’ve woken up after surgery, it’s back to normal. I feel terrific – I have no pain now, so the result as far as I’m concerned is 100%. I’m looking forward to getting back to playing golf next week!”
To be able to trial these new types of procedures, it requires the combined efforts of the doctors educated to perform the surgery, the hospital to have the equipment required, as well as patients like Mr Woolley happy to trial it. Your support does help provide that education, the equipment required, and the comfort given to the patients in their time of need to do the operation. Your continued support may lead to more breakthroughs into the future.
 Caring & Sharing - Issue 2 | 2023
Tim Woolley

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