Deborah Heart and Lung Center introduces ‘GPS for the Heart’

Deborah Heart and Lung Center has announced its first procedures using the VIVO system, which provides GPS-like mapping to pinpoint the exact spot where a heart arrhythmia is located. Deborah is the first cardiac center in New Jersey with this sophisticated technology.

Designed for patients suffering with ventricular tachycardia — which is an abnormal heart rhythm in the lower chambers of the heart — the system provides precise navigation for Deborah’s electrophysiology specialists, who then use cardiac ablation to treat the arrhythmia.

“This noninvasive procedure, done under light sedation, provides us with a highly detailed three-dimensional image of the heart with a superimposed activation map that is unique to each patient,” Dr. Raffaele Corbisiero, Deborah’s chair of electrophysiology, said. “With this precise mapping, we are then able to use our Stereotaxis remote navigation system to ‘ablate’ the arrhythmia, blocking the irregular signals that are coming from the lower chambers of the heart.”

Corbisiero explained that patients with ventricular tachycardia often have a pounding heart rate, chest pain, lightheadedness and shortness of breath.

“This is a very serious cardiac abnormality that can lead to stroke, heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest,” Corbisiero said. “It absolutely requires treatment. Ablation does an excellent job at treating this, but making sure we focus the remote energy to the exact spot is critical for the procedure to be successful. VIVO is a new tool that gives us that precision and ensures that patients will not have to return for a redo of their procedure if we miss the mark.

“We are more than thrilled to have this new tool at our disposal. Probably 10-15% of the heart arrhythmia patients we see have a ventricular problem. That is a significant population that will benefit from this mapping, which not only ensures precise placement of the radiofrequency energy, but saves us procedure time, improves our patient safety and, most importantly, improves our patient outcomes.”