The Inside Story
(May 17, 2012)
Patients in need of atrial fibrillation ablation procedures can now get their care here in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.
Last month, the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation Electrophysiology lab, located in the Regina General Hospital’s Mosaic Heart Centre, performed the first atrial fibrillation ablation procedure in the province. Previously, patients had to travel out of province and often had to wait to receive treatment.
The first patient to receive the procedure in Saskatchewan was Gilles Perraux, a 61 year-old bus driver from Bellegarde.
“I have a lot more energy these days, and I’m slowly getting rid of all the medications I had to take,” Perraux said. “It’s great knowing that I was able to have the procedure done in my home province, too.”
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. Often associated with palpitations, faintness, chest pain or congestive heart failure, the condition can be debilitating, interrupting a person from living their life to its fullest.
The procedure involves inserting a catheter through the leg vein, accessing the left upper chamber of the heart. A balloon is then inserted into the pulmonary veins and freezing is delivered to eradicate the abnormal rogue cells that cause the irregular heartbeat.
"It is a very exciting time in Saskatchewan to be able to offer the most cutting edge technology in the treatment of heart rhythm abnormalities,” Dr. Omar Sultan, the physician who performed the procedure, said. “Moreover, we are the second center in western Canada to have utilized the latest technology in treating atrial fibrillation, namely the Medtronic Arctic Front Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter System."
"Our government is pleased to provide an investment of $900,000 for the ongoing operation of the Electrophysiology Lab. The lab is a significant enhancement to cardiac services in the province and particularly for patients in southern Saskatchewan," Health Minister Don McMorris said. "It is gratifying to see the dollars being put into action, and we applaud the good work being done. This is another example of our government putting patients first."
“We knew when the lab opened that it would be an exciting opportunity for Saskatchewan residents to receive innovative care,” Lori Garchinski, Director of RQHR’s Cardiosciences Program said of the facility, which officially opened in November, 2011. “This procedure is just one success story of many to come for the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation’s Electrophysiology lab.”
“Our role at the Hospitals of Regina Foundation is to enhance healthcare through the support of donors and partners," says Judy Davis, President & CEO of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation. "The EP Lab was established because of a $1.25 million donation from the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation in 2009. The generosity of the Kinsmen - and all of the people who support them - will make a tremendous impact on the lives of patients.”
More information and a video demonstration of the Medtronic Arctic Front® Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter System can be viewed by clicking here.
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