I will be heading down to Seattle next week to fix an arrhythmia of my heart. It was discovered a month ago during a doctors check up here in Juneau. What happens is that every now and then my heart starts beating really fast for no real reason. How fast is my heart beating? Well the doctors have clocked me at over 200 beats a minute. Not the best thing for your heart.
So my heart can go in to over drive for no reason at all. But it also happens just about every time i swallow. Which no doctor I have spoken with has ever heard of happening before. .
The procedure to correct this is called a “Cardiac Ablation“. It’s rather common and no one expect there to be any issues from it.
…ablation is a relatively non-invasive procedure that involves inserting catheters – narrow, flexible wires – into a blood vessel, often through a site in the groin or neck, and winding the wire up into the heart. The journey from entry point to heart muscle is navigated by images created by a fluoroscope, an x-ray-like machine that provides continuous, “live” images of the catheter and tissue.
Once the catheter reaches the heart, electrodes at the tip of the catheter gather data and a variety of electrical measurements are made. The data pinpoints the location of the faulty electrical site. During this “electrical mapping,” the cardiac arrhythmia specialist, an electrophysiologist, may sedate the patient and instigate some of the very arrhythmias that are the crux of the problem. The events are safe, given the range of experts and resources close at hand, and are necessary to ensure the precise location of the problematic tissue.
Once the damaged site is confirmed, energy is used to destroy a small amount of tissue, ending the disturbance of electrical flow through the heart and restoring a healthy heart rhythm. This energy may take the form of radiofrequency energy, which cauterizes the tissue, or intense cold, which freezes, or cryoablates the tissue. Other energy sources are being investigated.
Once this is all over and I am back on my feet I will write a follow up post.
I found the following links to be helpful for me when looking this up on line.