UCSF Health is one of the few medical centers in California using an advanced technology, called magnetic navigation, to perform radiofrequency catheter ablations, a technique pioneered at UCSF to treat arrhythmia.
The technology enables doctors to correct arrhythmias with increased precision and fewer complications.
In traditional interventional cardiac procedures, doctors manually insert and maneuver instruments, such as catheters and guidewires. The magnetic navigation system is computer-controlled and uses magnets to direct instruments through veins into the heart and coronary arteries.
Doctors digitally control movement of the instruments from a control room outside the operating suite, using monitors and point-and-click navigation tools and other instruments. Doctors move catheters remotely using a 3D model of the patient's heart.
The benefits of magnetic navigation include:
- Approach is quicker and with few complications
- Magnets move devices more precisely, as little as 1 millimeter at a time and 360 degrees in any direction
- Reduced radiation exposure to both doctor and patient
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Clinics we work with
Cardiac Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Service
400 Parnassus Ave., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Radiofrequency catheter ablation is a technique used to treat arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm created by a disturbance in the heart's electrical system.
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