Glenfield Hospital surgeons use 3D heart map in operations

3D software showing atrial fibrillation Image copyright NIHR
Image caption New imaging software allows cardiologists to see the geometry of areas of the heart in 3D

Cardiologists are using innovative technology to allow them to operate while viewing a real-time 3D heart map.

The heart-mapping software was used on two patients who required operations to tackle disturbed heart rhythm at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

The hospital said the technology was a UK first and increased the "accuracy and precision" of such operations.

A cardiologist who used the new mapping software said it had "unique advantages" over conventional systems.

Professor Andre Ng used the new technique to operate on two patients with atrial fibrillation, which is the most common form of heart rhythm disturbance in the UK and can lead to stroke or heart failure.

The condition is often treated by a procedure known as catheter ablation, which sees a long, thin tube inserted into the heart which then creates scars, or lesions, in the heart muscle to stop the disturbance.

Image copyright NIHR
Image caption Cardiologist Andre Ng (second from right) operated using the 3D mapping software

Professor Ng said he was able to apply lesions with "unprecedented accuracy and precision", reducing the risk of complications.

Both patients have since been discharged.

One of them, Joanne Johnson, 51, said she would have to wait three months to know if the procedure was a success but she said she already felt "a lot better".

The software was developed by companies from the Netherlands and US.

"We are very pleased to be able to have access to this new technology at an early stage and hope to consolidate this through further research work to explore and develop its potentials," Professor Ng said.

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