Portland, OR, November 09, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about two million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation. This irregular heart rhythm results when multiple circuits of disorganized electrical activity in the top chambers of the heart (the atria) replace the organized electrical activity that is normally generated by the heart. The result is quivering of the atria instead of regular heartbeats.
Until recently, people suffering from this common heart arrhythmia were told they would probably have to live with the problem for the rest of their lives. Today, however, an increasing number of people with atrial fibrillation can now be treated and cured, thanks to an innovative procedure now available through Providence Portland Medical Center’s (PPMC) Arrhythmia Services.
Following the installation of a bi-plane imaging system and the addition of the latest electrophysiology technologies, PPMC now has the ability to offer more advanced electrophysiology (EP) procedures on Portland’s east side. Drs. Ashkan Babaie and Ronald Petersen of The Oregon Clinic provide the latest advances in heart rhythm treatment. The new PPMC electrophysiology lab will allow significantly enhanced access in Portland to this potentially curative procedure of atrial fibrillation treatment.
Although not directly life threatening, atrial fibrillation (AF) often produces a fast, irregular, and ineffective heart rhythm that can cause a variety of symptoms that can affect the patient’s quality of life.
For many years, atrial fibrillation was thought to be a harmless condition, but it is now known that AF can contribute to additional heart problems over time, including heart failure. Most seriously, it raises the risk of stroke and atrial fibrillation patients are often placed on blood thinners along with other heart medications that have side effects of their own.
“Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia we see. This heart rhythm creates a tremendous amount of symptoms and disability in patients," says Steven Reinhart, MD Interventional Cardiologist with The Oregon Clinic. "We are excited about being able to treat atrial fibrillation (a. fib.) with state of the art therapies and potentially cure it. We are able to not only improve the quality of life for many patients, we can decrease the number of medications our a. fib. patients have to take and reduce their trips to the hospital."