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Hope for Your Heart Is Here

Patients who once had to travel for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias have access to electrophysiology services at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton.

Texas Health Denton recently added an Electrophysiology Lab, allowing patients with abnormal heart rhythms -- or arrhythmias -- to receive cardiac ablation services here in the community.

“This new lab provides comprehensive treatment options for the Denton community and those who suffer from arrhythmias, which are caused by electrical abnormalities within the heart,” says Kathy Srokosz, R.N., B.S.N., M.S., assistant chief nursing officer and director of nursing operations at Texas Health Denton. “We have partnered strategically with many vendors to ensure we have advanced technology and services available. An electrophysiologist has joined the medical staff at Texas Health Denton, and having this specialist combined with the technology available makes Denton the destination for complex device implants and ablation therapies for patients with severe heart failure and/or rhythm disturbances.”

According to the American Heart Association, radiofrequency ablation has become the preferred method to treat tachycardia arrhythmias, which occur when the heart beats too fast (more than 100 times per minute). Supraventricular tachyarrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are all types of tachycardia arrhythmias.

During a radiofrequency ablation procedure, a physician guides a catheter into a vein through the groin and threads it to the heart. The catheter contains a small electrode, and when physicians identify the pathway that is causing the heartbeat irregularity, radiofrequency waves are used to destroy the abnormal pathway.

Cutting-edge cryoablation (a process of using extreme cold to freeze selected cells) will also be available to specific patients experiencing atrial fibrillation (a rapid, chaotic heart rhythm).

Success rates for cardiac ablation are high -- above 90 percent, according to the American Heart Association -- and because the procedure is minimally invasive, patients often return to normal activities within a few days.

“Before the Electrophysiology Lab was opened, there were no electrophysiology diagnostic and treatment services available to residents in and around Denton,” says Haris Naseem, M.D., electrophysiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Denton. “All electrophysiology studies and ablations are now performed at Texas Health Denton. For many patients, these procedures can provide a permanent cure for arrhythmias without the need to continue taking prescribed medications.”

For more information about electrophysiology and cardiac services at Texas Health Denton, visit TexasHealth.org/Denton or call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355). (Summer 2010)

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