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Austin, Texas, Physicians Second in Nation to Perform New Procedure for Difficult-to-Treat Atrial Fibrillation Cases
Date:3/4/2009

llow a certain population of people who suffer from A Fib to be cured, not just treated, but cured."

The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David's Medical Center (TCAI) is a multi-million dollar international treatment, training and research institute specializing in heart rhythm disorders led by world-renowned electrophysiologist, Andrea Natale, M.D., F.A.C.C. TCAI is the first center of its kind in the U.S. devoted to curing A Fib.

A Fib, known as the "silent killer" because it often goes unnoticed, is a disorder found in roughly 2.2 million Americans. During A Fib, the heart's two small upper chambers (the atria) quiver instead of beating effectively. Blood isn't pumped completely out of them, so it may pool and clot. If a piece of a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results.

The American Heart Association estimates that 20 percent of all strokes result from A Fib and are usually more debilitating due to the larger size of the clots. A person with A Fib has a six-fold increased risk of stroke versus patients with normal heart rhythm. The likelihood of developing A Fib increases with age, affecting roughly three to five percent of people over age 65.

Traditionally, patients diagnosed with A Fib take blood thinning medications to prevent blood clots from forming in the heart. Current blood thinning medications require frequent monitoring and have diet and other drug interactions causing many patients to discontinue use of the medication.

For more information about the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David's Medical Center, visit www.stdavids.com.

For more information about Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia, visit www.TCAheart.com.

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SOURCE The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David's Medical Center
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