Hybrid ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

Hybrid AF ablation (also known as the “Convergent Procedure”) is a two step approach to treating patients who have been in atrial fibrillation for a longer period of time. A cardiac surgeon carries out the first step, using a minimally invasive approach. A cardiologist (cardiac electrophysiologist) carries out the second step, usually around two months later, using conventional catheter ablation techniques.

We are proud to have started delivering this treatment in Oxford this year, with our first patient having completed both steps and a three month follow-up, at which he remains in sinus (normal) rhythm and feels fantastic!

Who is this suitable for?

The hybrid approach tends to be reserved for patients whose AF is considered more challenging to treat using conventional catheter ablation alone. Factors which tend to make AF more difficult to treat (i.e. the success rates are lower) include longstanding AF which has been persistent for over one year, an enlarged left atrium (the chamber which AF tends to originate from), obesity, impaired pumping function of the heart and those who have had unsuccessful catheter ablation procedures. This treatment is indicated according to the 2017 HRS expert consensus statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. This has also been approved by the Technologies Advisory Group at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.