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Published on March 03, 2016

Advanced procedure to address heart condition draws patients to Jacksonville

By Lorena Inclan, Action News Jax

Many people from all over the southeast are traveling to Jacksonville for a new advanced procedure that addresses a heart condition.

It’s not your typical operating procedure. There are multiple screens near the operating table, giving Dr. Saumil Oza a 3-D look inside the patient’s heart.

"So far we've gotten access into the venus system in the vein into the patient's right leg. We've threaded all the catheters up to his heart," said Dr. Oza as he performed a procedure called catheter ablation.

Action News Jax was the only station allowed inside the OR to take a closer look at how this new technology is revolutionizing how doctors treat atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is a disease that impacts nearly 3 million Americans, according to the Atrial Fibrillation Institute at St. Vincent's.

"Stroke is probably the biggest risk for the atrial fibrillation," said Dr. Oza.

As Dr. Oza worked on the patient, he showed Action News Jax how catheter ablation works to actually remove electrical impulses around the heart.

"We are going to seek out that tissue, destroy it and essentially leave him without atrial fibrillation without needing medication," said Dr. Oza.

Thursday's procedure was the 2,500th performed at St. Vincent's.

"Shows that this is a huge epidemic," said Dr. Oza. "There are so many patients out here with atrial fibrillation."

The entire procedure lasted less than an hour.

Dr. Oza said while the procedure is important, it's just as important for the patients to do their part too.

"I can do what I can with your heart the way it is, but if you continue to live to the lifestyle that got you to have atrial fibrillation, you're going (to) progress and you're going to overcome the ablation and you're going to have atrial fibrillation come from other areas," said Dr. Oza.

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