Sunday December 9th, 2018 4:36PM

NGMC Electrophysiology program receives international recognition

By from staff reports
GAINESVILLE- Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) electrophysiology program has recently been internationally recognized as a leader in catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias.<br> <br> Karthik Ramaswamy, MD, director of the NGMC Electrophysiology Lab, is a physician with the Northeast Georgia Heart Center. He was invited to speak at an atrial fibrillation conference hosted by internationally renowned electrophysiology pioneer Dr. Carlo Pappone. The conference was titled, "State of the Art in Electrical Treatments of Arrhythmias," and was held July 3-4 in Milan, Italy.<br> <br> Dr. Pappone directs the Academy of Arrhythmology at San Raffaelle University Hospital in Milan and is one of the first physicians to demonstrate cardiac ablation as a successful treatment for atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart arrhythmia and the number one cause of stroke.<br> <br> Dr. Ramaswamy was invited to speak on "Magnetic Navigation: U.S. Perspective" and to share the NGMC experience with the Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation system. <br> The Stereotaxis system uses powerful magnets to navigate a catheter in the patient's heart. The physician controls the catheter using a computer in the control room. This method is more precise and accurate than the traditional method of manually manipulating catheters.<br> <br> There are fewer than 35 facilities in the United States that have the Stereotaxis system. NGMC began using the only Stereotaxis system in Georgia in January 2005. <br> Dr. Ramaswamy says that the NGMC Electrophysiology Lab just completed an important national clinical trial of magnetic navigation in collaboration with major universities. Results from the study may change the way electrophysiology is practiced, he says, and Dr. Ramaswamy is in the process of submitting the findings for publication.<br> <br> "We are participating in cutting-edge work to define this new technology. This is what sets us apart," Dr. Ramaswamy explains. "It's safer, more precise, and exposes our patients to less radiation. Most importantly, this is what we provide our patients every day."<br> <br> Dr. Ramaswamy and Joon Ahn, MD, also a cardiac electrophysiologist with Northeast Georgia Heart Center, are also currently working together on submitting data about their experience for presentation at an upcoming international conference on arrhythmias. Dr. Ramaswamy and Dr. Ahn are the only physicians in Georgia perfoming cardiac ablation with Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation and among the most experienced in the nation in its use.<br> Dr. Ramaswamy's trip to Milan follows another presentation he made in late spring at an symposium sponsored by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and held in Montreal, Canada. He joined academic leaders in electrophysiology from Harvard, the University of Oklahoma and the Cleveland Clinic to discuss the latest techniques in using magnetic navigation for the treatment of arrhythmias.<br> <br> In addition, Dr. Pappone has expressed interest in forging a partnership with the NGMC Electrophysiology Lab for collaboration on patient care, education and training. <br> " It is very exciting to see the EP program at Northeast Georgia achieve this level of recognition around the country, and even the world. " Dr. Ramaswamy says.<br> <br> The electrophysiology lab is just one of many advanced cardiac care services provided by NGMC. The hospital's Ronnie Green Heart Center, which provides state-of-the-art care to medical and surgical cardiac patients, was recently ranked #1 in Georgia and in the top 5 percent in the nation in Overall Cardiac Care, Cardiac Surgery and Coronary Intervention Procedures, according to a comprehensive study released by HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent healthcare ratings company.
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