St. Jude Medical, Inc. recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its FlexAbility Ablation Catheter for use by electrophysiologists to treat cardiac arrhythmia.

The new catheter provides a unique bendable irrigated catheter tip that allows the catheter to better conform to the cardiac anatomy and more effectively form lesions during operation.  According to St. Jude Medical, the FlexAbility catheter also has an improved handle and shaft that enhance maneuverability, allowing electrophysiologists to reach challenging anatomical locations with less hand fatigue.

St. Jude’s new catheter could provide benefits to an estimated 10.4 million people in the United States who suffer from some type of cardiac arrhythmia.  According to Dr. Andrea Natale, executive medical director at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute:

“The FlexAbility catheter is the only ablation catheter with a flexible tip available to electrophysiologists in the United States today.  For the past several years we’ve been looking for a catheter that provided a gentler, more optimal approach to ablation.  The FlexAbility catheter addresses this need and provides me with another safe treatment option for my patients”

MarketWatch reports that the FDA approval of the FlexAbility catheter, which received its CE Mark in Europe last year, bolsters St. Jude Medical’s expanding ablation portfolio, which includes various patents such as U.S. Pat. No. 8,790,341, and expands the ability of physicians to treat patients battling abnormal heart rhythms.