Cardiac surgeon, electrophysiologist work together in minimally invasive nContact procedure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 28, 2012) - A new hybrid procedure for atrial fibrillation using surgical and minimally invasive therapies is being performed at TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center in Nashville, Tenn.

"The new nContact procedure combines the best techniques of electrophysiology and cardiovascular surgery to treat atrial fibrillation, or 'AFIB'," said Seenu Reddy, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon, TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center. "This minimally invasive procedure allows us to perform two critical steps in treating AFIB in one single procedure, rather than the patient having to undergo two separate procedures like they had to previously."

Most patients with atrial fibrillation can benefit from medication and ablation procedures to restore normal heart rhythm. For patients still experiencing atrial fibrillation after an ablation or who have structural heart disease, the nContact procedure is a new alternative treatment.

"Before nContact was available, AFIB patients who needed additional treatment beyond an ablation had to go through multiple procedures, taking a toll on their bodies and requiring a lot of their time for additional appointments and then recovery," said Gregory Bashian, M.D., electrophysiologist, TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center. "Now we are able to offer AFIB patients an alternative that will return their heart to a regular rhythm in one overall procedure and even reduce their recovery time."

To perform the nContact procedure, an electrophysiologist and cardiac surgeon work together in TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center's state-of-the-art, hybrid-enabled electrophysiology lab. The surgical procedure is performed first, followed by the ablation of the remaining atrial areas of the left atrium. It takes only about three hours to complete the entire procedure.

This alternative treatment offers numerous benefits to the patient, including comprehensive assessment and diagnosis, increased safety, and precision. Patients enjoy greater quality outcomes and experience a shorter, less painful recovery.

"Initial patient feedback and outcomes have been very positive," said Bashian. "This alternative hybrid procedure is a great option to have available for our patients."

Christopher Jones, M.D., chair of cardiovascular medicine at TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center, said that nContact is another example of how the hospital is enhancing the specialty heart care available in Middle Tennessee.

"Our experienced heart specialists are using sophisticated advances in technology and medical techniques to bring the newest, most innovative and successful treatment options to patients right here in Nashville," he said. "Patients truly benefit from having a comprehensive heart care team working together, even side-by-side in our surgical and procedure rooms, to provide life-saving heart care."

For more information on the nContact procedure for treating AFIB and other cardiovascular services at the Heart & Vascular Center, visit and select TriStar Centennial Medical Center or call TriStar MedLine® at (615)342-1919 or (800)242-5662.

Celebrating 44 years of providing quality healthcare to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and the surrounding region, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is a 657-bed comprehensive facility offering medical and surgical programs including behavioral health, 24-hour emergency, heart and vascular, imaging, neurosciences, oncology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, sleep disorder, and women's services. An affiliate of TriStar Health, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is home to TriStar Centennial Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, TriStar Centennial Women's & Children's, TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center as well as TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion, one of the oldest and largest full-service psychiatric facilities in the region. Round-the-clock care is also available at TriStar Ashland City, a critical access hospital in nearby Cheatham County. The new TriStar Emergency Room at Spring Hill will provide 24-hour emergency care for nearby Spring Hill, Tenn., and surrounding communities when it opens in 2013. For more information about the services offered and health plans accepted by TriStar Centennial Medical Center or TriStar Health, call TriStar MedLine® at (615)342-1919 or (800)242-5662, or visit and choose TriStar Centennial Medical Center. TriStar Centennial Medical Center is located at 2300 Patterson Street in Nashville.