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Banner Health first in western United States to use groundbreaking new device treating atrial fibrillation

Innovative technology offers new treatment option for patients

PHOENIX (Feb. 15, 2024) – Banner – University Medicine became the first in the western U.S. today to take advantage of an innovative new device that treats intermittent atrial fibrillation, or an irregularly fast heart rate. The FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System is a catheter device that uses electric fields during an ablation procedure to treat specific tissue areas around the heart that cause potentially life-threatening arrhythmia.

In typical ablation procedures, catheters produce extremely hot or cold temperatures to destroy tissue, which poses a small risk of causing damage to other surrounding areas and complications like pulmonary vein stenosis or esophageal injury. The FARAPULSE™ PFA System, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in January, doesn’t rely on extreme temperatures and treats only specifically targeted areas of heart tissue, significantly minimizing risks of complications related to ablation. Additionally, data from the device’s clinical trial period found that its use made for quicker procedure times and better learning curves for physicians.

Dr. Wilber Su, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix electrophysiology director, performed the first procedure with the technology in the western U.S. on Thursday morning. Three additional patients were also scheduled for the procedure’s introductory day at the hospital, including two who traveled from outside the state. Dr. Su was a principal investigator for the device’s clinical trial phase at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. The facility is a destination for treating complex heart rhythm issues and has access to the latest technology to provide safer, more effective procedures, a key part of Banner – University Medicine’s academic mission. 

“I was excited to see the promise of the FARAPULSE™ PFA System during the clinical trial period with our patients — it is easier and faster to use for A-fib patients needing an ablation,” Dr. Su said. “Now that it’s FDA approved and widely available, we can enhance the care for patients in need throughout the Southwest region at our academic medical centers in Phoenix and Tucson.”

Atrial fibrillation affects about seven million Americans and it is estimated that 12 million people in the U.S. will have it by 2030, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who suffer from the condition are at a higher risk for stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. The FARAPULSE™ PFA System, which was developed by Boston Scientific, offers hope to some of this population.

“As an academic medical center, our patients deserve access to state-of-the-art technology and evidence-based medicine. Our cardiovascular team provides outstanding cardiovascular care every day while investigating novel therapies and educating the next generation of cardiologists to serve our community,” said Daniel Post, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix chief executive officer. “We are pleased to offer this new therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation and help them to restore their health.”

The FARAPULSE™ PFA System is currently available as an ablation treatment option for patients with atrial fibrillation at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, and the system will be available at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson in March.

About Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix
Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is a large teaching hospital that has provided medical care to Arizona and the Southwest since 1911. It is part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. The institution, which has trained thousands of doctors over decades as a teaching hospital, is the academic medical center for The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The hospital, recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best hospitals, specializes in heart care, cancer care, high-risk obstetrics, neurosciences, organ transplants, medical toxicology and emergency care, including a Level I trauma center. Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 33 hospitals in six states. For more information, visit


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