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EL PASO, Texas – University Medical Center of El Paso notched another first in the El Paso region Thursday with the successful introduction and use of the Octaray, an advanced heart-mapping catheter to cure AFib.

AFib (atrial fibrillation) is when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way. AFib is a major factor in certain cases of cardiac arrest, stroke and a general spiral of debilitating and life-threatening conditions.

(MEDIA NOTE: See link to HR video of procedure)

“The Octaray is a new catheter that allows us to collect 40 percent more data,” said Dr. Moeen Abedin, cardiology specialist at UMC’s Hearth Rhythm department. “We are practicing state-of-the-art medicine at UMC. When new technology comes, we try to get it.”

Abedin noted that the new surgical tool has other benefits for the patient beyond curing AFib. “It increases the speed, efficiency and accuracy of procedures, which means less anesthesia and faster recovery.”

The Octaray was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March and UMC is again first to utilize the latest in health technology to benefit El Pasoans.

Here’s how it works.

At UMC, surgeons are able to generate a 3D image of the heart, colorized in different colors, based on the timing of beat activity in various areas of the heart. The heart, while beating, appears on an advanced monitor above the patient, in front of the surgeon. The surgeon watches the live image built with data from the Octaray, and then uses the electrodes to adjust the rhythm of the heart, successfully ridding the patient of AFib.

How does this tool get to the heart?
UMC’s surgeons are able to insert the tool, typically through a vein in the inner thigh, and thread it up through the torso until it reaches the heart.

Thursday’s surgery is a success and the rhythm of the heart of another El Pasoan has a fresh start.

About UMC: For 107 years, University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) has been providing exceptional, high quality care for the entire El Paso region. UMC is home to the region’s only Level I Trauma Center, the only Joint Commission-Certified Comprehensive Level I Stroke Center, and the first Level IV Maternal Critical Care Center.
UMC’s mission is to Heal, to Serve and to Educate.

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