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June 12, 2024

IU Health first in Hamilton County to utilize new technology for heart patients

IU Health North Hospital

IU Health first in Hamilton County to utilize new technology for heart patients

Cardiologists at Indiana University Health North and Saxony hospitals are now treating patients experiencing atrial fibrillation with new technology that increases patient safety and reduces patient recovery time. IU Health's cardiac electrophysiology team is the first to bring this technology to Hamilton County.

Atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as AFib, is a form of irregular heartbeat and the most common heart rhythm condition, impacting more than 12 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The advancement in AFib treatment is called pulsed field ablation (PFA) and delivers rapid electrical pulses to restore normal heart rhythm. With PFA, precise pulses are delivered and targeted just to the abnormal heart cells, which differs from traditional techniques that use high levels of heat (radiofrequency ablation) or cold (cryoablation technique) to restore normal heart rhythm but have higher chance of harming adjacent structures, such as the esophagus or phrenic nerves. Patients with PFA experience shorter procedures and reduced recovery times.

"With this new technology, we are transforming the way we treat patients with atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Antonio Navarrete, an IU Health cardiologist who specializes in clinical cardiac electrophysiology. "PFA is a more precise approach that prioritizes patient safety and allows our patients to return to their lives and loved ones more quickly.”

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved multiple PFA systems to treat heart conditions, including AFib. Dr. Navarrete and his teams at both hospitals began using the new technology in April.

"The incidence of atrial fibrillation is increasing annually with the aging population. It is a major cause of stroke and can lead to congestive heart failure if untreated,” said Dr. Nathan Lambert, medical director of Cardiology at IU Health North, Saxony and Tipton hospitals. "We are pleased to have our hospitals leading the way with cutting edge technology that places us at the forefront not only statewide, but nationwide, and allows optimal care for our patients.”

Catching Afib early is crucial to successful treatment. Signs and symptoms include feelings of a rapid, fluttering or pounding heartbeat, fatigue, weakness, light-headedness, shortness of breath, chest pain and in some cases, stroke. To learn more or to find an IU Health cardiologist near you, visit

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