Advanced Electrophysiology at Medical City Plano
Electrophysiology (EP) is a subspecialty of cardiology that examines the electrical behavior of the heart. Medical City Plano’s EP lab is staffed by experts, including interventional cardiologists, who are highly trained in diagnosing and treating irregular heartbeats (also known as arrhythmias). The rooms have been carefully designed to allow efficiency, patient comfort and a relaxing environment.
Medical City Plano is on the leading edge of cardiovascular care with its revolutionary Carto® 3 Navigation System. This incredible technology allows an electrophysiologist to review a map of a patient’s heart and monitor its electrical activity in 3D and in real time. This heart map helps determine the origin of the arrhythmia and assists the physician in guiding a catheter to the right place to treat the problem.
We specialize in the following procedures:
- Ablation studies
- Lead management systems
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib) management
- Pacemaker insertion and monitoring
- Implantable defibrillators
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillators
State-of-the-Art Electrophysiology Lab
Medical City Plano’s electrophysiology lab has a variety of features that are designed to increase functionality and provide an efficient and comfortable environment for both staff and patients. One unique feature to the new EP lab is the option for the patient to select an ambient lighting color. The EP lab is equipped with the ability to change the color within the suite as a means of relaxing the patient. Medical City Plano holds patient safety in the highest regard, and constantly strives to find new ways to ensure that our patients are as comfortable as possible during their care.
What is AFib?
Atrial fibrillation, or “AFib”, is a common heart rhythm disorder. AFib causes the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to beat rapidly and in an uncontrolled and uncoordinated fashion (fibrillation), impairing blood flow from the heart. The likelihood of developing AFib increases with age. This condition is not usually dangerous by itself, but it is a major risk factor related to stroke.
What are the symptoms of AFib?
The most common symptoms during an AFib episode include heart palpitations (irregular or rapid heartbeat), irregular pulse, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, dizziness or light-headedness, fainting, and chest pain.
How is AFIB treated?
Treatment usually begins with medication; however, some patients do not respond to drug therapy or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by the medications. When patients cannot get relief through medication, doctors are increasingly referring them for a procedure called catheter ablation. This procedure is performed by a doctor called an electrophysiologist who has had specialist training in the treatment of heart arrhythmias.
What is catheter ablation?
Catheter ablation is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure in which catheters are introduced to the heart via a small incision in a vein in the patient’s leg. The catheter is threaded into the heart where the electrical impulses of the heart can be studied. Once the areas that conduct abnormal electrical activity have been identified, the catheter can treat the arrhythmia by emitting radiofrequency energy in order to disconnect wayward electrical impulses.
Are there special catheters for AFib ablation?
In fact, the NaviStar® ThermoCool® Catheter from Biosense Webster, Inc. is the first and only ablation catheter to be approved for the treatment of AFib in the United States. A recent groundbreaking clinical study with the catheter showed that ablation was superior to medication in eliminating AFib episodes, reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life of a certain type of AFib patient suffering symptoms despite taking medications.
How does ablation help correct arrhythmias?
Ablation targets the areas of the heart that are generating the wrong kinds of electrical pulses that cause rapid heartbeat. By neutralizing and blocking these areas, the pulses are controlled and a normal heartbeat returns.