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Monday, May 13, 2024

Holston Valley Medical Center completes region’s first cardiac ablation procedures using innovative FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System

Holston Valley Medical Center is the fourth facility in Tennessee — the first in East Tennessee and among less than 150 facilities nationwide – to successfully perform cardiac ablation procedures using the innovative FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System.

This achievement marks a significant advancement in cardiac care and offers patients a unique alternative to caring for atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm. Unlike traditional ablation methods, which rely on extreme temperatures to eliminate abnormal heart tissue, the FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System utilizes tissue-selective, non-thermal electric fields to precisely target affected areas while preserving surrounding structures, enhancing patient safety and expediting recovery.

"We are proud to offer some of the world’s leading cardiovascular care right here in the Appalachian Highlands, bringing innovative treatments to local heart patients,” said Love Hobson, vice president of cardiac services for Ballad Health. “It’s an enormous benefit to our local communities that Holston Valley is among the first hospitals in the nation to offer FARAPULSE, and with it, a safer, more effective alternative for treating atrial fibrillation.

“The successful completion of this procedure highlights the dedication to advancing cardiovascular medicine and improving patient outcomes that have long been a hallmark of our care. It underscores our commitment to delivering the highest quality of cardiac care to our community, and we are excited about the possibilities this innovation holds for the future of cardiovascular medicine in this region.”

The first procedures are being led by electrophysiologists Muralidhar Papireddy, MD, and Shaun Colburn, MD. Their expertise, coupled with the state-of-the-art technology, ensure success by providing therapy to isolate and target specific characteristics of cardiac tissue.

“Dr. Colburn and I are honored to have completed the first-ever atrial fibrillation ablations in this region using the FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System,” said Dr. Papireddy, an interventional cardiologist and clinical cardiac electrophysiologist with the Ballad Health CVA Heart Institute.

“This procedure represents a significant leap forward in our ability to provide safe and effective treatment options for patients with atrial fibrillation. Witnessing the successful outcome of this innovative treatment reaffirms the importance of having access to leading care, close to home, for our patients. We look forward to further utilizing this technology to provide better care to our cardiovascular patients.”

Holston Valley’s world-renowned cardiovascular program is a national leader in clinical research trials, has been named a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital by IBM Watson Health and was the first in Tennessee to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery for patients who are unable to undergo open-heart surgery.

More recently, Holston Valley was ranked in the top 10% in the nation for patient safety in cardiac care and top 100 in the nation for patient safety during major cardiac surgery by Quantros Inc.’s CareChex® awards for 2024. U.S. News and World Report also recognized Holston Valley in 2024 as “high performing” and having high nurse staffing ratios and a high rate of discharges directly home for heart attack and heart failure patients.

"We are honored to be the first hospital between Nashville and Asheville to successfully utilize the FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System, marking another milestone in our legacy of leading medical advancements and high standards of patient care,” said Rebecca Beck, CEO of Holston Valley.

“The successful outcome of this procedure is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our healthcare team and an affirmation of the exceptional, state-of-the-art care we strive to provide to every patient. The incidence of atrial fibrillation is on the rise, and such safe, effective and efficient therapies like FARAPULSE™ allow physicians to treat more patients, reduce complications and benefit overall public health.”

Atrial fibrillation affects millions of people worldwide, causing irregular heartbeats and increasing the risk of stroke and heart failure. Unlike thermal ablation that causes cell death by local tissue temperature, the FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System offers a non-thermal approach, minimizing these risks, while providing effective treatment.

The non-thermal approach of the FARAPULSE™ system allows clinicians to precisely target abnormal heart tissue while minimizing the risks associated with traditional thermal ablation methods. A 12-month clinical trial that directly compared FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System to standard-of-care thermal ablation devices found that therapy with the FARAPULSE™ was as safe and effective as conventional thermal ablation, with statistically shorter ablation time. Additional data from more than 17,000 patients in the MANIFEST 17K registry, a dataset of patients treated commercially using the FARAPULSE™ system, showed continued safety improvements compared to traditional ablation methods.