New Hope for Common Heart Problem

Image of arrhythmia treatment paper

Right now, one in 18 Americans is living with a condition that puts them at greater risk for blood clots, stroke and even sudden cardiac arrest. That condition is arrhythmia. Simply put, arrhythmia occurs when the heart is not beating in a normal rhythm. During arrhythmia, the heart's electrical impulses may happen too fast, too slowly, or erratically.

Arrhythmia symptoms may be subtle, but the condition can have serious, life-threatening side effects, including blood clots, stroke or sudden cardiac arrest. Left untreated, arrhythmia can affect a person's quality of life and can have a devastating impact on their health. The most common type of arrhythmia - atrial fibrillation (AFib) - affects an estimated three million Americans and is believed to be the cause of one out of every six ischemic strokes. By 2050, an estimated 10 million Americans will be living with atrial fibrillation.

When arrhythmia is suspected, a diagnostic test known as an electrophysiology study is done in an electrophysiology lab. The results of the test help the team of electrophysiologists and cardiologists determine the type of arrhythmia and the best treatment option, which may include medication, a pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), cardiac ablation or surgery.

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute is proud to offer an arrhythmia treatment program that is among the most elite in the nation. And now, with the opening of a new, state-of-the-art electrophysiology (EP) lab at Mercy General Hospital, Dignity Health hopes to meet the growing need for arrhythmia care with more efficiency and even great precision. The new lab features a state of the art procedure room outfitted with the latest technology for advanced imaging and monitoring. This is a great benefit to the physicians, providing them with remarkable visibility and accuracy while performing procedures.

The room is fully adaptable for current and future EP procedures and can be converted into a cardiac operating room if needed. This provides an additional layer of patient safety and efficiency. The new room is located adjacent to the existing cardiac operating rooms and cardiac catheterization labs for easy access to the entire team of expert physicians and staff resources.

In addition to the technology available in the new EP Lab, Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute is also proud to be one of the few teams offering patients the Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC). LAAC is a minimally invasive procedure for stroke prevention that closes the left atrial appendage (where blood can pool in AFib patients) without requiring open heart surgery.

Dignity Health uses the Watchman™ device, which is the only FDA-approved LAA closure device that reduces stroke risk from clots originating in the LAA. The Watchman™ device is indicated for use in patients with a relative intolerance or contraindication to oral anticoagulation.

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute is proud to offer the Sacramento region an exceptionally advanced program for the management of arrhythmia. The physicians and treatments offered at Dignity Health are on par with those of the most elite cardiovascular programs in the nation - all right here in our backyard.

To learn more about arrhythmia treatment options, visit our website.

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