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Cardiac arrhythmias can be operated on with an endoscope! Bucheon Sejong Hospital is actively operating “thoracoscopic surgical ablation for arrhythmias” with the latest technology

  • Date : 2022-07-04
▲ Hee-mun Lee(left), the director of the Dept. of Thoracic Surgery of Bucheon Sejong Hospital, is performing a minimally-invasive operation using a three-dimensional endoscope with a thoracoscopic assistant robot

Bucheon Sejong Hospital (Director: Park Jin-sik), the only cardiac specialty hospital selected by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea, has introduced and actively operated the latest operational technology for atrial fibrillation, a thoracoscopic surgical ablation for arrhythmias.  
The thoracoscopic surgical ablation does not make an incision but makes only three holes in the chest to perform high-frequency ablation using an endoscope. Compared to open-heart surgery, this operation leaves smaller scars, has a shorter recovery time, and lower surgical risks. However, as it requires high precision surgical technique, there are not many hospitals performing this surgery.
Atrial fibrillation is a common type of arrhythmias. If completely untreated, it can lead to tachycardia, heart failure, and blood clots that could cause a variety of complications such as stroke, multiple organ dysfunction, etc.
Maze, a traditional procedure to treat atrial fibrillation, is a surgery to block the irregular electric signal by making an incision on the heart. As a median sternotomy should be done to open the heart and install a heart-lung machine that induces cardiac arrest, the burden for patients and surgical risks are relatively high.

On the contrary, the thoracoscopic surgical ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require a heart-lung machine and, without cardiac arrest, this is operated while the heart is beating, lowering its surgical risks.

Hee-mun Lee, the director of the Dept. of Thoracic Surgery of Bucheon Sejong Hospital, said,” this procedure can be done on patients to whom radiofrequency catheter ablation cannot be performed or relapse patients.” He added, “The left atrial appendage of patients with atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clots, causing strokes, but this procedure blocks the left atrial appendage using a special clip. Therefore, even if it recurs, the risk of stroke is decreased by more than 90%.”     
Myung-mook Lee, the president of Bucheon Sejong Hospital, said, “The thoracoscopic surgical ablation is an effective surgery that complemented the traditional surgery and the weaknesses of the radio frequency catheter ablation. With this hybrid surgical technique through the cooperation between the dept. of Internal Medicine and the dept. of Surgery, the treatment success rate can be increased, and can help many patients with atrial fibrillation.”