Providence Everett first in Snohomish County offering pulsed field ablation

Pulsed field ablation -- a new treatment for atrial fibrillation --is now available at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett (PRMCE). Providence Everett is the first hospital in Snohomish County and the third hospital in Washington state to offer this new technology. 

North Puget Sound cardiac electrophysiologists experts Sandeep Sharma, M.D. of Providence Medical Group and Western Washington Medical Group’s Michael Eskander, M.D., discuss pulsed field ablation and how it offers another way for patients to receive to safe, efficient cardiac care with excellent outcomes.

Q: What is pulsed field ablation (PFA)?

Dr. Sharma: Pulsed field ablation is a new treatment that uses an electrical current, as opposed to heat or cold energy, for treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Q: What are the main benefits of PFA for patients with cardiac arrhythmias compared to traditional ablation techniques?

Dr. Eskander: Traditionally, there were two cardiac ablation methods used to treat arrythmias, or irregular heartbeats, that required a thermal energy source to heat or freeze disorganized electrical heart tissue and destroy it. Those methods can cause damage to surrounding organs, such as the esophagus, or to nerves or vessels.  

Pulsed field ablation is a highly selective, non-thermal energy source targeting damaged heart tissue without harming adjacent organs. It is the 'holy grail' of selective ablation.

Q: What qualifies a patient for pulsed field ablation procedures?

Dr. Sharma:  Patients who qualify fpr PFA are those who have experienced an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) lasting less than seven consecutive days, or what is known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

Q: How does Providence Everett stand out in terms of offering pulsed field ablation services?

Dr. Eskander: PRMCE has long offered all available modes for catheter ablation to treat atrial fibrillation in Snohomish County. Providence Everett is currently the only hospital in Snohomish County offering PFA. In addition to PFA, electrophysiologists at Providence Everett have access to some of the most up-to-date facilities to perform catheter ablation procedures, which is the biggest advantage to patients.

Pulsed field ablation is a great technology that allows us to improve on the already safe track record we have at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. It also allows us to expand care to our population for atrial fibrillation management.

Q: In your opinion, what are the potential future advancements or developments in the field of pulsed field ablation, and how do you see this procedure evolving in the coming years?

Dr. Eskander: I am excited to see studies that expand this technology for patients that suffer from other cardiac arrhythmias, not just atrial fibrillation. Also, there are only two FDA-approved catheters that use pulsed field energy. I anticipate the tools will continue to expand over the next several years, which will allow electrophysiologists to treat a wider range of pathologies without sacrificing safety or increasing costs of the procedure.

Learn more and find a physician or advanced practice clinician (APC) 

If you have atrial fibrillation, it can be difficult to get an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Our board-certified electrophysiologists are experts in diagnosing and treating heart rhythm abnormalities. They work closely with a care team that may include interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, heart failure specialists and imaging specialists. Nurse navigators are also available to help you understand the underlying causes of heart disease. Our dietitians help you make heart-healthy food choices, and our exercise physiologists can help you keep living life to the fullest.

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. If you need any help or advice on how to schedule your health checks, or how to improve lifestyle habits, reach out to your primary care doctor, you can search for one who’s right for you in our physician directory to support you on your journey to wellness. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can also access a full range of health care services.

Information for patients and visitors

Related resources 

Transforming heart health

Edmonds, Everett recognized by Healthgrades

Heart disease can happen at any age: What to know and where to go

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

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