Reducing Radiation While Improving Vision

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An estimated 33 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), and its prevalence is projected to increase significantly as the population ages1. For many patients, catheter ablation treatment can help reduce the severity of symptoms. 

Biosense Webster, Inc. had a vision to create the first commercially available steerable guiding sheath that can be visualized on the CARTO® 3 System during a catheter ablation procedure. A sheath is an introducer routinely used by electrophysiologists (EPs) to facilitate catheter access, stability, and tissue contact when targeting ablation sites to treat arrhythmias such as AF. EPs use fluoroscopy (essentially a moving x-ray) to identify the location of the sheath, which requires the use of lead garments to protect healthcare providers from radiation during the procedure. 

With 62% of medical staff suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain due to wearing heavy protective garments2, Biosense Webster Inc. knew that finding a way to reduce the use of fluoroscopy for sheath visualization was an important innovation. This device also helps to minimize patient exposure to the radiation that fluoroscopy creates, which for a conventional ablation procedure is the equivalent of 760 chest x-rays3.

Uri Yaron, Worldwide President, Biosense Webster Inc explains, “For a physician doing multiple procedures per day, incorporating CARTO VIZIGO® Module could mean less overall exposure time to radiation and less time in heavy protective garments.”

To commemorate this advancement, we are sharing the gift of vision beyond the physicians who will use the CARTO VIZIGO® Bi-Directional Guiding Sheath. We connected with the Himalayan Cataract Project, an organization that overcomes barriers impeding the delivery of cataract care to underserved, needlessly blind people in the developing world. Biosense Webster, Inc. has made a charitable donation to provide vision correction procedures to underserved populations.

“We saw a nice connection between a technology that enables physicians to ‘see’ and a profound need around the world for those without ready access to sight-saving treatments,” said Yaron. We are proud to be supporting the Himalayan Cataract Project in doing important work to overcome barriers to the delivery of cataract care to patients.

After years of research and development, we are thrilled that our vision for the CARTO VIZIGO® Bi-Directional Guiding Sheath has come to life. We know that this advancement will elevate the standard of care that EPs deliver to patients with atrial fibrillation. We hope that our partnership with the Himalayan Cataract Project will improve the lives of many more patients through the gift of vision. Learn more about what good vision can do.


1. European Heart Journal, Volume 37, Issue 38, 7 October 2016, Pages 2893–2962,
2. Ref: Orme JA Occupational Hazards of Interventional Cardiologists: Prevalence of Orthopedic Health Problems in Contemporary Practice Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions 63:407–411 (2004)
3. *Effective dose of 16.6 (6.6-59.2) mSv Ref: Picano et al. Risks Related to Fluoroscopy Radiation Associated with EP Procedures. JAFIB Aug-Sep 2014