CRMC is First in the Upper Cumberland Region to Use TactiCath Quartz Contact Force Ablation Catheter for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

Submitted on: Wednesday, July 6, 2016
CRMC is First in the Upper Cumberland Region to Use TactiCath Quartz Contact Force Ablation Catheter for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

Cookeville, Tenn. – Cookeville Regional Medical Center is the first facility in the Upper Cumberland to use the TactiCath™ Quartz irrigated ablation catheter, a new ablation technology available for use in patients being treated for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). The technology was designed to provide physicians with an objective measure of the force a catheter applies to a patient’s heart in order to create more effective lesions during ablation procedures.

The first procedure in the Upper Cumberland was performed by Mark Wathen, M.D., electrophysiologist and heart arrhythmia specialist with the Heart and Vascular Center at Cookeville Regional and Tennessee Heart.

“Atrial fibrillation is quite common and can cause serious discomfort and significant problems for patients,” said Dr. Wathen. “It is important to treat the condition, and if medications don’t work well for the patient, it often requires cardiac ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that can correct heart rhythm problems. This new Tacticath technology improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the procedure. As the only electrophysiology lab between Nashville and Knoxville, we are committed to providing the most effective treatment solutions for heart rhythm problems.”  

The TactiCath Quartz ablation catheter provides Dr. Wathen and other electrophysiologists the ability to monitor the amount of pressure that a catheter tip exerts on the endocardium (the layer of tissue that lines the chambers of the heart). Without contact-force sensing technology, physicians have to estimate by touch with their hands the amount of force applied to the heart wall during an ablation. If too little force is applied, effective lesions may not be created and AF may recur, potentially requiring additional treatments. When too much force is applied, there is a risk of tissue injury, which can lead to serious procedure-related complications.

“Cookeville Regional is continually investing in new technology and is pleased to offer this new treatment through our heart program and Dr. Wathen,” said Paul Korth, CEO at Cookeville Regional. “Our electrophysiology program has grown significantly as have other services within our heart and vascular service line. We are continually striving to expand and improve those services so that residents in the Upper Cumberland don’t have to travel to other cities for specialty care.”

Ablation catheters, such as the TactiCath Quartz irrigated ablation catheter, are thin, flexible wires used to help treat irregular heartbeats that impair the heart's ability to effectively pump blood throughout the body. In the U.S., an estimated 2.7 million people are impacted by AF, making the condition the most common type of arrhythmia affecting Americans today.

For more information about AF visit

About Cookeville Regional Medical Center

Serving the area since 1950, Cookeville Regional has grown to be the region’s health care provider of choice and is the flagship hospital for the Cookeville Regional Health System that also includes Cumberland River Hospital and Cookeville Regional Medical Group. Cookeville Regional Medical Center is a progressive 247-bed regional referral center serving more than 350,000 residents in the Upper Cumberland region of middle Tennessee.  With over 200 physicians in 40 different medical and surgical specialties, Cookeville Regional offers patients here the same kind of care that they could expect in a larger metropolitan area including specialty care such as cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiac and thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, pulmonology, cancer treatment, orthopedics, physical rehabilitation and neurosurgery. The medical center’s Rehabilitation Center is located within a block of the hospital and includes both outpatient services and a 20-bed inpatient unit. Cookeville Regional also houses a 32-bed behavioral health hospital owned and operated by Ten Broeck Tennessee.


Photo: Mark Wathen, MD, Electrophysiologist and Heart Arrhythmia Specialist, Tennessee Heart

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