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World leading cardiac technology set to reduce heart flutters at Hurstville Private Hospital

Hurstville Private Hospital is the first hospital in New South Wales to offer the new QDot Micro Catheter ablation system, set to revolutionize the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation. (AFib), which lead to the heart beating in an irregular rhythm and can cause breathlessness, light-headedness, palpitations, chest discomfort, tiredness and difficulty exercising.

With approximately 500,000 Australians currently living with atrial fibrillation, the launch of Biosense Webster’s combined nGEN / QDOT MICRO technology provides a new surgical treatment option for the first time.

World-first technology reduces surgery time

Dr Calvin Hsieh, Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist said ‘’Atrial Fibrillation is a major health issue in Australia and is a leading cause of stroke and other morbidities/mortalities. AF is a condition in which the heart beats irregularly and often too fast, which can cause a range of different symptoms, including palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.’’

World-first technology reduces surgery time

Biosense Webster’s technology works by combining QDOT MICRO, the world’s first very high-power short duration ablation catheter, with the nGEN generator, which enables higher power to be delivered for shorter periods.5 As a result, this can reduce total ablation procedure time without compromising safety,5 meaning patients may have less exposure to harmful radiation associated with ablations and may require less anaesthesia.5

Ablation technology available prior to the launch of nGEN / QDot uses lower power delivery, resulting in relatively longer procedures.5

This improved efficiency means patients may experience less trauma, leading to faster expected recovery times and less nursing and facility time following the procedure.5

The time savings may also equate to more procedures per day, leading to improved patient access, while potentially reducing overall procedure costs.5 It also helps to clear procedural waiting times across the healthcare system so more patients can be treated faster.5

Hurstville Private Hospital Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist, Dr Calvin Hsieh, states ‘’it is an exciting milestone to be the first in New South Wales to offer this cutting-edge technology, which will provide our patients with less complications and a faster recovery, making it an exciting development in the field of cardiology.”

Atrial Fibrillation in Australia

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a type of arrhythmia where the heart beats irregularly and fast.1 AFib reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood properly and increases the chance of blood clots forming in the heart, which can lead to stroke.1

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including acute and chronic heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, is a complex and multifactorial issue that affects 16.6% of the Australian population.1,2 It is the leading cause of death in Australia and accounts for 26% of all deaths.3 CVD also costs the Australian economy over $5 billion each year, more than any other disease.4

Approximately 500,000 Australians are living with AFib and the incidence is rising2 And one in three individuals are at risk of developing AFib in their lifetimes. The risk of AFib increases with age. (Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute).3

AFib is quickly becoming one of the world’s most significant health issues that places a critical burden on healthcare systems.4

Dr Calvin Hsieh said ‘’Atrial Fibrillation is a major health issue in Australia and is a leading cause of stroke and other morbidities/mortalities. AF is a condition in which the heart beats irregularly and often too fast, which can cause a range of different symptoms, including palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.’’

Atrial fibrillation triggers and treatments

  • Alcohol
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Caffeine
  • Exercise
  • Fatigue and lack of sleep
  • Infection
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking
  • Dehydration

Treatment options

The treatment for atrial fibrillation differs between people, depending on symptoms, the underlying cause, and any other health conditions.1

  • Medication – Regular medication can normalise the heart’s rhythm or slow the heart rate. Blood thinning medications may also be prescribed. 1
  • Electrical cardioversion – An electrical shock to the chest under general anaesthesia can restore normal electrical rhythm. 1
  • Pharmacological cardioversion – Medication to restore normal electrical rhythm in a short period of time. 1
  • Pacemaker – A small implantable device that electrically stimulates the heart to maintain a regular rhythm. 1
  • Lifestyle changes – Stopping drinking and smoking will reduce the burden of atrial fibrillation. 1
  • Weight loss (if overweight) 1
  • Management of other medical conditions – Including high blood pressure, heart failure, heart valve disease and diabetes. 1
  • Exercise1
  • Catheter ablation – is a procedure performed in hospital using a catheter to destroy the area inside the heart that’s causing the abnormal rhythm. 1

Some patients with arrythmias are not successful with, or cannot tolerate, drug therapy. In some of these cases, catheter ablation may be a recommended treatment option. Catheter ablation is associated with a significant improvement in patient quality of life, with studies showing improvements of more than 50 percent, when compared to drug therapy.6,7 Catheter ablation is also associated with significant reductions in AF burden and AF-related complications.8

Our team of specialised cardiologists at Hurstville Private Hospital are dedicated to providing the best possible care and outcomes for patients. We are excited to be at the forefront of this innovative treatment,” said Hurstville Private Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Martina Goddard.

About Biosense Webster

Biosense Webster, Inc., part of Johnson & Johnson MedTech, is a global leader in the science of diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders. The company partners with clinicians to develop innovative technologies that improve the quality of care for arrhythmia patients worldwide.

About Johnson & Johnson MedTech

At Johnson & Johnson MedTech, we unleash diverse healthcare expertise, purposeful technology, and a passion for people to transform the future of medical intervention and empower everyone to live their best life possible. For more than 90 years in Australia and New Zealand, we have driven breakthrough scientific innovation to address unmet needs and reimagine health. In surgery, orthopaedics, and interventional solutions, we continue to help save lives and create a future where healthcare solutions are smarter, less invasive, and more personalised.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Health Survey 2017-18. Canberra: ABS, 2018.
  2. National Heart Foundation of Australia. Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease. Melbourne: Heart Foundation, date unknown
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of Death 2019. Canberra: ABS, 2020.

Australian Heart Foundation 2023. Accessed March 2023
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute 2023. Accessed March 2023 at
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute 2023. Accessed March 2023 at Biosense Webster (2020 August 13). Biosense Webster Receives CE Mark Approval for QDOT MICRO®, The World’s First Very High Power, Short Duration Ablation Catheter [Press release].
Walfridsson, Håkan, et al. "Radiofrequency ablation as initial therapy in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: results on health-related quality of life and symptom burden. The MANTRA-PAF trial." Ep Europace 17.2 (2015): 215-221.
Blomström-Lundqvist, Carina, et al. "Effect of catheter ablation vs antiarrhythmic medication on quality of life in patients with atrial fibrillation: the CAPTAF randomized clinical trial." Jama 321.11 (2019): 1059-1068.
Journal of Nursing: June 2019 - Volume 119 - Issue 6 - p 18 doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000559795.09114.0b.