Allegheny General Hospital Honored for Health Care Innovation With Minimally Invasive Convergent Procedure in the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation Patients

MORRISVILLE, N.C., Nov. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Pittsburgh Business Times has awarded Dr. William Belden and Dr. Robert Moraca of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, as winners in Health Care Innovation for their new approaches to treating atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Drs. Belden and Moraca use the Convergent Procedure, a multidisciplinary, epicardial-endocardial closed-chest approach for treating persistent and longstanding persistent AF patients. AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, estimated to affect 5.9 million people in the U.S., with a majority of patients falling into the difficult-to-treat persistent AF population.

"The Convergent Procedure has provided our institution with an innovative approach in treating these long suffering AF patients, most of whom have very few options," said Robert Moraca, MD, Director of Thoracic, Aortic and Arrhythmia Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital. "This procedure is innovative because Dr. Belden and I work together as a team during the procedure, providing the patient with the best techniques and technologies from both surgery and electrophysiology. And we can treat these patients with minimally invasive techniques, with no chest incisions or ports."

The multidisciplinary Convergent Procedure is performed as a single procedure in the electrophysiology lab. The epicardial lesions are created first under direct endoscopic visualization by a surgeon, through a 2 cm incision in the abdomen, with no chest incisions or ports. The endocardial lesions created by an electrophysiologist help confirm lesion set completeness through specialized EP diagnostics, which also predict outcomes.

"We are offering patients a new treatment alternative that is minimally invasive and allows us to target the problem areas of the heart from both the outside and the inside," said William Belden, MD, of Allegheny General Hospital. "At the end of the procedure, we can also confirm that the abnormal signals have been silenced through the use of diagnostics. The Convergent Procedure has advanced our ability to effectively treat this patient population, most of whom have historically had few options with traditional approaches, such as endocardial-only ablation."

You can read more about this award for health care innovation at:

About nContact, Inc.

nContact's mission is to transform the underserved arrhythmia market through the advancement of less invasive, more efficacious ablation alternatives for cardiac arrhythmias. The Company's lead technology, EPi-Sense™ Coagulation System with VisiTrax®, has CE Mark approval in Europe for the coagulation of cardiac tissue in the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. The EPi-Sense Coagulation System with VisiTrax is indicated for endoscopic coagulation of cardiac tissue in the U.S. nContact was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Morrisville, North Carolina, USA.

About Allegheny General Hospital

Allegheny General Hospital is the flagship academic medical center affiliated with the Allegheny Health Network, a western Pennsylvania based integrated healthcare delivery system that consists of eight hospitals. The Cardiovascular Institute of Allegheny Health Network provides the complete spectrum of highly advanced capabilities for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Kris McCulloch nContact, Inc. T (919) 655-1351 kmcculloch@ncontactinc.comSource: nContact, Inc.