Sheila Flanagan Patient Story
Sheila Flanagan was born with an atrial septal heart defect and at the age of six had open heart surgery to repair it. Over time, scar tissue from her open heart surgery caused atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart beat caused by abnormal electrical activity in the heart that over time can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure.
In 2012, Shelia started experiencing AFib on a frequent basis. She was unaware of what was occurring in her body. “My heart would race. It felt so strange and I didn’t know what was happening,” she says.
Bang, bang, bang! If you experience your heart banging against your chest or skipping beats you may be experiencing an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is an irregular rate or rhythm of the heartbeat, where your heart can beat too fast or slow. Most commonly, this is caused by atrial fibrillation (AFib), when disorganized electrical signals cause the heart’s chambers not to beat in sync or fibrillate. Millions of Americans are affected by this disease and the number increases each year. AFib is the most common abnormal heart rhythm in America. Read More
Atrial Fibrillation Awareness and Progression Prevention
March 28, 2018
Almost everyone has seen the ads for the new anticoagulants at this point. However, many Americans still remain in the dark regarding what atrial fibrillation (Afib) is and it’s potentially devastating consequences. Despite increasing efforts to improve the awareness for atrial fibrillation, many still do not know it’s signs and symptoms or that it is a progressive disease.
Afib is the most common arrhythmia in the world affecting 3-6 million Americans with projections of up to 16 million by the year 2050. Yet, far too many Americans are walking around with undiagnosed and therefore untreated Afib which is progressing every day they remain out of normal sinus rhythm, unaware of the warning signs. Read More
Smith Performs Zero Fluoroscopy Ablation
November 8, 2016
There’s something missing in Dr. Macy Smith’s cardiac operating room these days: the use of a bulky fluoroscope, and the collection of leaded aprons needed to protect doctors, staff, and patients from the machine’s continuous X-rays.
Smith is using a new mapping system that allows him to perform an atrial fibrillation procedure without radiation; a zero-fluoroscopy approach.
“The mapping system is sort of like a GPS for the heart,” says Smith, an electrophysiologist with Cardiovascular Associates. “When we do an ablation, the new system has special equipment and software that allows you to create a map of the heart almost like in a video game. By way of veins in the groin, you get your catheters up into the heart and move them around, and as you create contact at different points in the heart, you can see the catheters over a map that represents the geometry, or shell, of the heart. Read More
Ablation Technique Offers Afib Patients Hope for a Cure
February 7, 2013
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) can severely depreciate a person’s quality of life, causing heart palpitations, chronic fatigue, and debilitating pain. More than two million people in the U.S. have Afib, which is responsible for an estimated 88,000 deaths and $16 billion in additional costs to the U.S. health care system each year. Thanks to a new ablation technology, these patients now have hope for a cure for their incapacitating condition.
Radiofrequency ablation has been used for more than 10 years to treat various heart problems, but only recently has it been used to stop A-fib, says Macy C. Smith, Jr., MD, FACC, an electrophysiologist with Cardiovascular Associates in Birmingham. Read More