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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Westchester Medical Center Surpasses 500th Ablation Milestone for Atrial Fibrillation Patients

The WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute team performs more than 100 atrial fibrillation ablations each year, typically returning patients to a high quality of life in less than a week.

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The electrophysiology program at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), recently achieved a 500-procedure milestone for the use of ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation, a common type of arrhythmia that can increase an individual’s risk of stroke, heart failure and other complications.

The WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute team performs more than 100 atrial fibrillation ablations at Westchester Medical Center each year, typically returning patients to a high quality of life in less than a week. The team also performs these procedures at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of WMCHealth, in Suffern. 


Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heartbeat that prevents proper blood flow from the atria to the lower chambers of the heart. The AFib ablation procedure uses heat to selectively isolate, or ablate, muscle cells within the heart that are sending rogue electrical signals.


“We are proud to achieve this milestone for our ablation program with an outstanding record of safety and success, and to celebrate the good health and improved quality of life that we have been able to offer to Hudson Valley patients with atrial fibrillation in the program’s first five years,” said Sei Iwai, MD, Director of Electrophysiology at Westchester Medical Center. “This minimally invasive procedure requires a dedicated team with advanced expertise, state-of-the-art equipment and a full suite of resources available through WMCHealth’s Heart and Vascular Institute.”


Atrial fibrillation affects 3 to 5 million people nationwide and precautionary measures can be taken to help reduce an individual’s risk, including aerobic exercise, incremental weight loss, stress reduction strategies and reduced alcohol consumption.


WMCHealth’s Heart and Vascular Institute is at the forefront of advanced cardiac technology in the Hudson Valley and beyond. In addition to the Institute’s 500th atrial fibrillation ablation procedure, cardiac interventionists have performed more than 300 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures and the cardiac teams also perform hybrid catheter ablations, laser lead extractions, and transcatheter mitral valve and tricuspid valve repair using the MitraClip® device, patent foramen ovale (PFO) closures, and alcohol septal ablations (for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).