Specialized Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation Close to Home

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Safwat Gassis, MD, FACC, David Man, MD, FACC, and Stacey Solomon, RN-BC
Safwat Gassis, MD, FACC, David Man, MD, FACC, and Stacey Solomon, RN-BC

Atrial Fibrillation, also called A-Fib, is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than three million Americans. During A-Fib, the heart muscle does not contract effectively, causing the upper chambers to quiver and the heart to beat irregularly. One may feel short of breath, tired, weak or light-headed, while others may feel anxious or have chest discomfort.

If left untreated, A-Fib doubles the risk of death from heart-related causes. In addition, it increases the risk of congestive heart failure and dementia and raises the risk of hospitalization. A-Fib increases the risk of stroke by 500 percent, and can also lead to severe or debilitating symptoms. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available.

A cardiac electrophysiologist is a cardiologist with advanced training who specializes in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders. At Holy Spirit Cardiology – A Geisinger Affiliate, Dr. Safwat Gassis, Dr. David Man and Stacey Solomon, RN-BC run the Holy Spirit Atrial Fibrillation Center, treating patients who need advanced care for Atrial Fibrillation. The center provides an individualized treatment plan that is tailored for each patient to improve quality of life, which includes managing the heart rhythm with drug therapy or minimally invasive techniques. The program allows access to the most advanced and novel treatment options—superior in both safety and efficacy—in The Ortenzio Heart Center at Holy Spirit. Specialized procedures, including radiofrequency catheter ablation, cryoablation, robotic ablation, and pacemaker implantation are minimally invasive procedures used to treat patients with A-Fib. Cryoablation is a procedure used to freeze and destroy the abnormal tissue that causes the irregular heartbeat.

Managing A-Fib requires a multidisciplinary approach. Emphasis on patient education and encouraging active involvement from the patient and their family helps to improve treatment outcomes. The center also hosts a support group for those who suffer from A-Fib to help foster an environment for learning, support and coping with A-Fib. The meeting is held several times a year at Holy Spirit Hospital. To learn more, call (717) 724-6450 or visit www.hsh.org/services/heart/atrial-fib.

Holy Spirit Cardiology provides services to diagnose and treat even the most complex cardiovascular problems. Our offices are located in Camp Hill, Carlisle, Harrisburg, Newport and will open soon in Duncannon. For an appointment, call (717) 724-6450. For more information, visit www.hsh.org.