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Hoag is the First in California to Offer Laser Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

Categories: Press Room

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., September 11, 2018 --- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian today announced it is the first hospital in the state of California to offer an innovative treatment system for atrial fibrillation (AFib) that allows cardiologists to see pulmonary veins in real time. This new technology complements Hoag’s advanced visualization tools, creating what essentially amounts to 4D vision when treating the most common type of heart arrhythmia.

The HeartLight® Endoscopic Ablation System is a new FDA-approved laser balloon treatment for AFib. This minimally invasive treatment option is being offered for patients undergoing Pulmonary Vein Isolation Ablation (PVI Ablation), which uses energy to destroy the tissue in the heart that triggers abnormal heart rhythms.

AFib affects nearly 2.7 million people in the United States. If left untreated, AFib can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and death.

“This is just one of the latest examples of how Hoag leverages innovation to put the patient first,” said Michael Panutich, M.D., electrophysiologist and chairman of the department of cardiology at Hoag. “By increasing our visualization and offering a new laser technique for treatment, we open up more possibilities for our patients and more precise, safer care.”

An arrhythmia is the term for an abnormal heart rhythm. It can cause the heart to beat too slow, too fast, or at an irregular pace. Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia that occurs when the electrical signals of the heart’s upper two chambers (called the atria) become rapid and disorganized. This causes the heart to beat fast and irregularly.

PVI Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used for AFib patients whose heart arrhythmias cannot be controlled with medication. The procedure usually takes about three to four hours and patients usually go home the following day.

Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute uses world-class ablation systems, including the HeartLight Laser Balloon ablation system, to treat atrial fibrillation. The HeartLight System uses an endoscopic camera placed in the pulmonary veins to allow direct visualization of where laser energy is applied to block electrical impulses that trigger Afib. Hoag also uses world class mapping systems including the Topera RhythmView system, which allows for FIRM (Focal Impulse Rotor Modulation) mapping, in addition to PVI Ablation, to locate and ablate other areas of the atria that could be driving atrial fibrillation. Combined, these systems may result in better, and longer lasting, outcomes.

“This new system is a significant addition to Hoag’s comprehensive and robust toolbox,” said Rajesh Banker, M.D., electrophysiologist at Hoag. “We have been pleased with the results we have seen so far and look forward to helping more patients treat AFib safely and effectively.”


Hoag is an approximately $1 billion nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 30,000 inpatients and 425,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals – Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which opened in 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010 – in addition to eight health centers and 11 urgent care centers. Hoag is a designated Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences, women’s health, and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute, which consists of an orthopedic hospital and two ambulatory surgical centers. In 2013, Hoag entered into an alliance with St. Joseph Health to further expand health care services in the Orange County community, known as St. Joseph Hoag Health. Hoag has been named one of the Best Regional Hospitals in the 2018 - 2019 U.S. News & World Report, andBecker’s Healthcare named Hoag as one of the 2018 “100 Great Hospitals in America” – a designation Hoag has received five times. For an unprecedented 22 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as one of the county’s best hospitals in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.

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