JACKSON - Tennova Healthcare - Regional Jackson has announced that it is now offering atrial fibrillation ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to cure atrial fibrillation or control its symptoms.
Atrial fibrillation, or AF, is the most common type of arrhythmia.
People who have AF may not feel symptoms. However, even when AF isn't noticed, it can increase the risk of stroke. In some people, it can cause chest pain or heart failure, especially if the heart rhythm is very rapid.
Dr. Simon Okewole, D.O., a cardiologist and electrophysiologist on staff at Tennova Healthcare - Regional Jackson, performed the first atrial fibrillation ablation in the hospital's new Electrophysiology Lab earlier this month. Arterial fibrillation ablation utilizes thin, flexible wires (catheters), which are inserted into blood vessels in the groin or sometimes the neck (such as the pulmonary vein) and threaded through the blood vessels to reach the heart. There is an electrode at the tip of the wires, which sends out radio waves that create heat. This heat destroys (ablates) the abnormal heart tissue that causes atrial fibrillation.
Recovery from catheter ablation is usually quick. Patients are admitted to the hospital and stay overnight after the procedure for observation. Most patients are discharged from the hospital the following morning.
In addition to ablation procedures, electrophysiology studies to test the heart's electrical activity and to evaluate for abnormal heart rhythms are also performed in the hospital's Electrophysiology Lab. The results of these studies can help doctors decide whether a patient needs medicine, a pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, cardiac ablation or surgery.