Skip to main content


Changing the game for atrial fibrillation

Friday February 12, 2021

  • Blog
  • Cardiac
  • Foundation

The Regional Cardiac Care Program at Southlake opened in 2002. In its nearly two-decade-long history, the Regional Cardiac Care Program has been at the forefront of innovation.

In 2019, Southlake continued to be at the forefront, with their revolutionary study to reevaluate how we treat one of the most prevalent cardiac issues in Canada – atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, which is when the heart’s upper chambers are out of sync, is a common issue as we age. Unfortunately, it is a major cause of strokes, blood clots, and heart failure.

The standard treatment involved burning or freezing tissue inside the heart to return it to a normal rhythm. The risk of damaging unnecessary tissue was high and caused many doctors to be conservative in their treatment.

At Southlake, Dr. Atul Verma began using pulsed field ablation to treat atrial fibrillation – becoming one of the first doctors in the world to do so. Pulsed field ablation uses electrical fields to destroy the atrial fibrillation without the risk to surrounding tissue.

“We believe this tech will allow us to eliminate problem areas without causing collateral damage, which is very exciting. It’s a technology that is not only more effective but safer,” according to Dr. Verma, Electrophysiologist & Director of Arrhythmia Services.

Dr. Verma is now a world leader in pulsed field ablation. Doctors from as far away as China and Europe come to Southlake to learn how to perform the procedure from him. His work regarding heart rhythm and the treatment of atrial fibrillation has been published in many high impact journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine.

Southlake is always willing to try new, innovative treatments to ensure leading edge care for the patients who depend on us. It is because of incredible clinicians, including Dr. Verma, that Southlake is able to do so. However, none of it would be possible without the generous support of our communities.

Donate today to support Southlake’s most urgent needs and help ensure you and your loved ones can trust your hospital to provide leading edge care close to home when it matters most.