Largo & St. Petersburg, FL – When physicians at Largo Medical Center and Northside Hospital diagnose a patient with atrial fibrillation (afib), an irregular heartbeat, they can now offer innovative minimally invasive treatment options through the Convergent Procedure and Cardiac Cryo-Ablation.

At Largo Medical Center, two expert cardiac physicians were the first in Pinellas County to combine their unique skills to tag-team on the Convergent procedure, a closed-chest minimally invasive approach performed to treat the most difficult forms of atrial fibrillation. The initial ablation is performed by a cardiac surgeon on the outside of the heart. The final ablation is performed by a cardiac electrophysiologist on the inside of the heart giving the heart back it’s normal rhythm. After the combined procedures, the patient undergoes electrical testing to confirm success. The physicians say Convergent allows for shorter hospital stays in comparison to open heart surgery, taking many afib patients off medications they’ve been on for years.

At Northside Hospital, it’s the expertise of three cardiac physicians, who were also the first to perform a catheter ablation procedure for atrial fibrillation called Arctic Front® Cardiac CryoAblation, in Pinellas County. With this procedure a cryoballoon delivers a refrigerant through an inflatable balloon freezing tissue, disabling unwanted electrical circuits that cause afib. The physicians say Cryo-Ablation is known for its low risk for complications.

Afib is caused by rapid and disorganized electrical signals that disrupt blood flow in the upper chambers of the heart (atria) for either short or long periods of time. Patients with afib can experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest palpitations, fainting and in severe cases, stroke.

To interview patients and physicians about Convergent and Cryo-Ablation, please contact Tammy Robiconti, Marketing & Public Relations Director at 727-348-1896.