Unique approach for treating Irregular HeartBeat used for first time at SZMC

For the first time in Israel (and one of the first times anywhere), a patient suffering from a life-threatening irregular heartbeat (ventricular arrhythmia) underwent ablation at Shaare Zedek using an artificial heart pump inserted into an artery in his arm (instead of the typical approach going thru the groin).

The patient, is in his 50’s, previously had a defibrillator implanted in his chest that gave him painful electrical shocks when his heart beat irregularly. Prof. Michael Glikson, the Director of our Integrated Heart Center and Dr. Moshe Rav Acha, a senior electrophysiologist in Shaare Zedek, decided to perform an ablation which required putting the patient on an artificial heart pump.

Given the patient’s situation, the pump could not be threaded thru the groin the way it is typically done. Prof. Glikson explained, “This patient’s condition was unstable because of the irregular heartbeats. To perform the ablation we threaded the artificial heart pump through patient’s artery in his arm. This enabled us to successfully complete the procedure.”

Ablation is a cauterization procedure to scar or destroy the heart tissue that had been allowing incorrect electrical signals and causing abnormal heart rhythm.

Dr, Daniel Fink, the Director of Chest Surgery Unit and Dr. Rafael Wolff, the Director of our Structural Heart Diseases Unit implanted the artificial heart pump.

The team does not know of any other cases where this approached was used. The unusual operation successfully corrected the patient’s arrhythmia, Professor Glickson said, “Had it not been for the use of an innovative combination of sophisticated means and exceptional skill of teams from various disciplines, this complex patient could not have been given the best treatment that would extend his life.”


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