Just moments before her heart procedure, Sarah Howard found out that she would be the first patient in the United States to undergo a procedure with MediGuide™ technology at The University of Kansas Health System. While most people would be nervous, maybe even anxious, Howard was excited.
"I felt like I'd won the lottery."
That morning, she was being treated for supraventricular tachycardia, or SVT – a condition that causes a rapid heart rhythm. Howard's heart rhythm condition had required her to have a similar treatment 2 years earlier.
Electrophysiologists treated Howard's heart rhythm condition using what was, at the time, the standard of practice for navigating the heart. That process, called fluoroscopy, relies on a series of rapid X-ray images taken throughout the procedure to help physicians find the damaged area of the heart and treat the heart tissue causing the abnormal rhythm.
Fluoroscopy, however, results in relatively long periods of radiation exposure for both the patient and the care providers. It takes between 15 minutes to 1 hour or more for complex procedures.