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  • Title : Hallym succeeds 500th radiation-free arrhythmia procedure for the first time in Korea
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  • Professor Hong Euy Lim of the Arrhythmia Center at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital performed his 500th successful procedure for treating arrhythmia without radiation exposure in August, for the first time in Korea. Among the 500 cases of surgical procedures for arrhythmia, procedures for atrial fibrillation made up the greatest portion. Procedures for ventricular tachycardia, atrial tachycardia, ventricular premature beats, and supraventricular tachycardia were also included among the cases.

    Dr. Professor Lim is the only certified proctor for intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) in Korea. A proctor is a person who promotes surgical techniques and supervises physicians. He uses ICE not just for various procedures for treating arrhythmia, but for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) as well in order to minimize radiation exposure.

    This type of procedure, unlike the general form of surgical procedure that depends on X-ray images, is conducted only by using ICE. The high-resolution 3D mapping system used to guide radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) improves the accuracy and safety of RFCA even more. This surgical technique is appropriate for children, pregnant women, and elderly patients with arrhythmia since it doesn’t require radiation exposure.

    The Arrhythmia Center at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital has hosted the symposium and workshop on the ‘arrhythmia procedure without radiation exposure’ six times for arrhythmia specialists in Korea and abroad. At the Hybrid Center, training and demonstration of the surgical procedure have been carried out about 20 times for cardiologists.

    “By placing the ICE catheter inside the heart via a femoral vein approach, we can monitor the status of the heart in real-time without radioscopic images. Patient satisfaction with the arrhythmia procedure and heart valve procedure performed under this condition is very high, since they dramatically decrease the risk of complications, help the patients recover fast, and lessen the psychological burden of the surgery on elderly patients,” said Dr. Lim. “Once the coronavirus situation becomes stable, we would like to introduce this method to more cardiologists in Korea and abroad so that patients can undergo heart surgeries more safely without being exposed to radiation,” he added.

    By Chul Kwon, Int’l Cooperation Team, HUMC (