Perth to be international hub for heart procedure

The medical team who performed the 50th HyCASA surgery at Hollywood Private Hospital

Hollywood Private Hospital is celebrating a significant milestone as the southern hemisphere’s sole provider of an innovative treatment for a deadly heart condition.

In August 2021, the Perth facility performed its 50th procedure using the HyCASA method – Hybrid Catheter Ablation and Surgical Ablation – to remedy persistent atrial fibrillation (AF).

AF, an abnormal heart rhythm caused by erratic electrical signals in the heart, affects about two percent of the Australian population.

The condition increases the risk of chronic fatigue, decreased activity levels and a diminished quality of life.

In 2017-18, it accounted for more than 72,000 hospitalisations nationwide and was associated with nine percent of deaths in 2018.

“AF is a progressive disease, so it is important for patients to be diagnosed and treated before it progresses and causes other health problems – such as stroke or heart failure,” Hollywood Private Hospital Director of Medical Services Dr Andy Papa-Adams said.

“The HyCASA treatment has an established track record, with over 9,000 procedures performed in the United States and Europe, and we are extremely proud to offer it.”

HyCASA aims to interrupt the atrial fibrillation circuits and return the heart to a normal rhythm. It treats both inside and outside of the heart with endocardial radiofrequency ablation and epicardial ablation.

“It is estimated almost half of AF patients have long-standing and persistent AF,” Dr Papa-Adams said.

“HyCASA targets two key areas where AF originates: the pulmonary veins, and the back wall of the heart.”

AF symptoms include palpitations, fluttering feeling in the chest, rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath and dizziness – Dr Papa-Adams said anyone with one or more of these should see their General Practitioner.

The medical team has been able to perform the procedure thanks to the hospital’s new multi-million-dollar cardiothoracic theatre, which launched in late 2020.

“Hollywood will be a significant centre for hybrid AF therapy and a potential proctoring site for the southern hemisphere,” Dr Papa-Adams said.

“We are set to become a training centre for the procedure, teaching surgeons and electrophysiologists across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific.”

Hollywood Private CEO Peter Mott said the hospital’s mission was to offer innovative therapies for patients who previously had limited options.

“Our new cardiothoracic theatre is part of a $200 million investment by Ramsay Health Care to provide comprehensive healthcare services at one convenient location in Nedlands,” Mr Mott said.

“Hollywood will be a comprehensive facility for heart health with the opening of our emergency department later this year.”

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