HealthWatch: LV Lead Placement

Green Bay (WFRV) At least 2.7 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation- a quivering or irregular heartbeat.
Many times the condition can be controlled with an ablation or medications. But if those measures fail, there is another way to treat it. 
 
Bernie Larson has atrial fibrillation. She used medications and underwent multiple ablations over the years to control this rhythm problem, before meeting Dr.Sheikh.
Bernie's disease process progressed to permanent A-fib so she needed a different type of pacemaker to control her symptoms.
 
The 70-year-old Bernie is back in the swing of things.  Now that she has the energy to hit the ball, "A lot easier I can walk a lot easier now and not be short of breath."
 
Bernie was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation when she was fifty.  Over the years she's  had multiple procedures and medications but couldn't regulate her condition.
 
"Unfortunately for her we tried ablation procedures in the past and other medications to try to control the atrial fibrillation but for her she would revert back to atrial fibrillation," said Dr. Imran Sheikh, electrophysiologist, cardiovascular disease specialist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center. 
 
Bernie began to notice her symptoms returning, "Last summer I was noticing short of breath, swelling and kind of hard to walk."
 
It was keeping her from enjoying life, "I didn't have a lot of energy steps were mostly the killer just trying to do a lot of every day stuff that requires more energy," said Bernie.
 
So she went to see electrophysiologist Dr. Imran Sheikh at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a cardiovascular disease specialist, "Atrial fibrillation is basically chaotic electrical activity in the heart. It can cause symptoms of palpitations, jitteriness, anxiety and it can cause heart failure," explained Dr. Sheikh.
 
Which happened in Bernie’s case, "She developed cardiomyopathy which means her heart function decreased and that can be blamed for her symptoms her shortness of breath, fatigue, exercise intolerance," explained Dr. Sheikh.
 
Dr. Sheikh recommended upgrading her pacemaker to a biventricular pacemaker- with two leads placed in the bottom of each side of the heart, "So she has a wire here and she has a wire on this side of the heart so that's how you can pump with more efficiency, right ventricle, left ventricle and now we pump with synchrony because we now have two wires controlling the pacing of the heart," explained Dr. Sheikh.
 
Keeping Bernie’s heart pumping despite her permanent AF rhythm and back to doing the things she loves, "It did the trick, I think I have a lot more energy, I'm not as short of breath and I don't  have any swelling anymore," Bernie said happily.
 
If atrial fibrillation goes untreated it can cause stroke, heart failure or severe debilitating symptoms. 

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or emailhealthwatch@aurorabaycare.com. 


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