NYM Offers Comprehensive Treatments For Atrial Fibrillation

Jun 25, 2008

Dr. Gioia Turitto performing surgery

Gioia Turitto, M.D., director of electrophysiology at New York Methodist Hospital.

New York Methodist Hospital recently began offering a complete range of treatments for atrial fibrillation, including a procedure called ablation. Doctors performing an ablation who are specialists in the cardiology subspecialty known as electrophysiology, use an advanced mapping system to locate the source of the patient's heart arrhythmia, and then eliminate this source with techniques that may involve applying radiofrequency energy.

"Electrophysiologists at New York Methodist Hospital are able to provide the highest quality treatment to patients who are diagnosed with this prevalent heart arrhythmia," said David Benson, M.D., associate director of the electrophysiology lab at New York Methodist Hospital.

One of the most common types of heart arrhythmias in the United States, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that originates in the upper chambers of the heart and can result in lack of energy, missed days at work, or trips to the emergency room. Symptoms of atrial fibrillation may include heart palpitations, dizziness, chest discomfort, or shortness of breath.

"While not all patients with atrial fibrillation may be ideal candidates for ablation, they should certainly be evaluated for this procedure when they are not tolerating medications well, or the medications cannot help their hearts stay in a regular rhythm," said Gioia Turitto, M.D., director of electrophysiology at New York Methodist Hospital. "Patients must meet certain criteria involving their age, health, and ability to safely undergo this procedure."

Devices such as an implantable pacemaker, or a combination of devices and medications, can help patients who may not be able to undergo ablation. "The highly trained cardiologists who specialize in electrophysiology at New York Methodist are able to devise a specialized treatment plan that works best for each patient," said Terrence Sacchi, M.D., chief of cardiology at NYM.

For a referral to a cardiologist or a cardiac surgeon affiliated with New York Methodist Hospital, please call 866-84-HEART or visit www.nym.org.