Local doctor explains procedure for those living with a-fib

Dr. Hank Marks, with Novant Health, spoke with WECT to explain a new treatment option for the condition.
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 11:54 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A-fib, or atrial fibrillation, is the most common type of treated heart arrhythmia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People living with a-fib are at greater risk of having a stroke. Dr. Hank Marks with Novant Health spoke with WECT to explain one treatment option for the condition.

“Atrial fibrillation affects about 2.5 percent of patients over 50. So it’s common; the consequences can be severe,” Dr. Marks explains. “That is about 15 to 20 percent of all strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation.

“Often these patients have already failed medicine, or have failed other procedures. They come to us, we put them to sleep in the operating room, we make a small incision in the lower chest. And we take a device where we create scar on the back of the heart, we’re able to do that with a movie camera and this ablation or scar creating device ... The second part of that procedure, is we also put a clip on the left atrial appendage, that’s the region of the left atrium that often causes the stroke.”

According to Dr. Marks, the procedure has been successful for approximately 70 percent of patients.

You can watch the interview in the video at the top of this story.