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    Successful Novel Cardiac Procedure Using Intracardiac Echocardiography

    Cutting-edge medical technique aids patients with atrial fibrillation and complex vascular conditions.

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Doctors at the University Clinical Center in Gdańsk have accomplished three left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) procedures utilizing intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) guidance. LAAO is performed on atrial fibrillation patients at high risk of ischemic stroke, unable to undergo standard anticoagulation therapy due to bleeding concerns.

    Conventionally, these procedures are guided by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). However, patients with severe esophageal changes face elevated risks with TEE. ICE, a pioneering alternative, involves inserting an ultrasound probe via the patient’s veins directly into the heart. This innovation not only ensures patient comfort but also averts the need for sedation.

    Patients ineligible for TEE due to liver cirrhosis-related esophageal varices are particularly suited for ICE-guided LAAO. Such varices can trigger severe bleeding, restricting anticoagulation treatment options. ICE now offers a safer approach, minimizing the bleeding risk while facilitating the procedure.

    The medical team, led by Dr. Dariusz Ciećwierz and Prof. Marcin Fijałkowski, conducted these breakthrough procedures successfully, addressing complications arising from advanced esophageal varices and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. With over 130 LAAO procedures already performed by the team, the adoption of ICE marked a significant advancement.

    Under the mentorship of Dr. Witold Streb from the Silesian Centre for Heart Disease in Zabrze, these three interventions concluded without complications. Patients were discharged in good health after a two-day observation period.

    This milestone not only expands treatment possibilities for challenging cases but also showcases the medical center’s commitment to innovative, patient-centered care.

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