Catheter ablation is a nonsurgical procedure performed in the electrophysiology laboratory, where electrode-tipped wires are inserted through a vessel in the groin and threaded to the heart using X-rays to guide its course. The cause of the arrhythmia is then mapped and located, and radiofrequency energy is applied to destroy the pathways or circuit causing the rapid heart rates.
The Arrhythmia Center at Missouri Baptist is one of the few centers in the world to have experience with Stereotaxis Robotic Ablation, EPOCH. The Stereotaxis system is a robotic system where a soft, flexible catheter is magnetically guided inside the heart. The catheter is maneuvered using low-strength magnetic fields to direct the catheter to the target areas. The Stereotaxis system offers improved accuracy and precision through computerized control of the catheter. Since the magnetic catheter is more flexible and softer than a conventional, manually manipulated catheter, the Stereotaxis system enhances the safety of the procedure. In addition, because of the robotic guidance and computerized accuracy, the patient is exposed to much less radiation.
Stereotaxis technology is a major innovation in cardiovascular care. For patients with complex arrhythmias, robotic technology can offer treatment options that otherwise would not be possible. The magnetic catheter can often reveal the location of complex circuits and map areas of the heart that are difficult to reach with a manual catheter. In patients with common arrhythmias, the Stereotaxis technology permits the physician to focus on the mapping procedure and monitoring of the patient while the robotic system guides the catheter under the doctor’s control.
Dr. Karthik Ramaswamy and Dr. Andrew Krainik are among a few specialists in the region to have experience with the Stereotaxis system. Dr. Ramaswamy has been using the system since 2005 and has educated physicians around the world in the technique. He was first in the world to perform a bidirectional, transatlantic live case demonstration of the technology, and among the first to demonstrate its advantages in reducing radiation exposure and improving safety for patients undergoing catheter ablation.
For more information on stereotaxis or to schedule an appointment, call us at 314-996-3627 or contact us online.