If you are one of the 2.3 million Americans who experience atrial fibrillation of the heart, there is now treatment available in Peoria that was once only available in a few major medical facilities.
Atrial fibrillation (also called AF or A Fib) is a common heart rhythm disorder caused by a problem in the electrical impulses in the upper chamber of the heart. Rapid irregular heart rhythms commonly cause palpitations and fatigue, and significantly increase the risk of a stroke.
Dr. Adel Mina of Methodist Medical Group Cardiovascular Services was the first local electrophysiologist in the Peoria area to perform an atrial fibrillation ablation procedure that can offer patients long-term relief from sometimes debilitating symptoms.
Many people have abnormal heart rhythms that cannot be controlled with lifestyle changes or medications. Some patients cannot or do not wish to take lifelong anti-arrhythmic medicines and other drugs due to the side effects that can interfere with their quality of life. For those, the option of cardiac ablation may be their best treatment option.
Like many cardiac procedures, Dr. Mina says, “Cardiac ablation no longer requires a full frontal chest opening, but instead is a relatively minimally-invasive procedure that involves inserting catheters—narrow flexible wires—into a blood vessel carefully guided to the heart through live x-ray images. Electrodes at the end of the catheter gather data that helps to localize the area of faulty electrical activity. Once the area is confirmed, radiofrequency energy is delivered to inactivate this area by causing a local scar.”
Karen Leggott, 61, of Morton, makes fewer trips to see Dr. Mina now, following her procedure to correct an ongoing problem with atrial fibrillation. She remembers well her condition prior to Dr. Mina’s procedure. “It was very annoying. It just completely wore me out. I was always tired; I couldn’t breathe. I felt suffocated,” she said.
Since her procedure, it’s quite different. “I feel like I walked into a new body,” says Leggott. “I’m completely transformed. I don’t have the symptoms I had, and I can exercise now and walk a flight of stairs without a problem. It’s wonderful.”
Dr. Mina says the procedure is somewhat complex, but relatively safe. It may take four to eight hours, but the patients generally go home the same or next day. iBi