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Treating Tachycardia Through A Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Ever imagined how it might look like inside an operation theatre with a patient getting prepped for his heart surgery?

Tense?

Buzzing with doctors?

No.

It’s quiet in here, with multiple monitors bleeping away. Each bleep signifies that the patient is alright; doing well, in fact.

Now, when you think about a heart surgery, you would maybe assume that it’s a complicated surgery, that it would be risky, that the recovery time would be long, that there would be many restrictions.

What if I told you that this heart surgery I’m going to tell you about is not at all complicated, that the risks are minimal, recovery time is nil – this means you can get back to your routine lifestyle in just about a few hours and there will be almost no restrictions, in terms of both diet and activities.

The Problem

When a 63-year-old Rama Krishna walked into my room, he looked concerned. Obviously, considering he had come with a cardiac trouble. He presented with palpitations, with his heart rate touching 164 beats per minute. This is a magnified number, because the normal heart has a rate of 60 – 100 beats per minute, while a person is resting. If your heart beats faster, in simple terms it would mean that your heart is overworking, and just like an overworked person feels tired, an overworked heart would feel tired too, leading to more cardiac complications.

The Tachycardia Condition

This condition is called Tachycardia and he needed medical intervention.

Sinus Rhythm

The Diagnosis

I recommended a couple of regular check-ups, a couple of basic tests like ECG (Electrocardiography) and ECHO, after which, I understood what needed to be done.

The Treatment Plan

I wanted to proceed with a procedure called EPS (Electrophysical Study) to understand what was triggering the issue and another procedure called RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) to arrest the problem.

Catheters Insertion

The Surgery

When I wheeled into the OT, the junior doctor prepped him up for the surgery, making him lie on an X-Ray enabled table, with probes placed on his heart, and a BP cuff on his upper arm to monitor his blood pressure. There were many monitors nearby, to measure different vitals like blood pressure, pulse rate, cardiac activities etc. His femoral vein was identified and he was given a local anaesthetic to numb his groin.

Three catheters (thin flexible wires to measure electrical activity in the heart) were inserted into his femoral vein, guiding them to his heart.

 

Electrical System of Heart

 

These catheters were placed to study his heart’s rhythm, and then tachycardia was induced to understand what was causing the problem. Upon inducing tachycardia, or making the heart beat faster, I understood that an extra connection inside his heart was what was causing the issue.

Once the diagnosis or study was complete, it was time to address the issue. While two catheters where delivering signals from within the heart, the one catheter in the chamber that had the extra connection was going to deliver 55 watts of electricity to burn the extra connection. Once that damaged portion was burnt, his heart returned to normal rhythm, and we were successful in managing to correct the heart issue without having to opt for a more invasive and complicated surgery.

Catheter Ablation

Imagine, something in your heart being burnt while you lie on a table without experiencing pain. Imagine a heart problem being corrected without opening up your chest. It’s possible and I have performed many such cases with 99% of patients never having a relapse of the issue. But then, the key is always early diagnosis. As a doctor, I recommend all of you to take your cardiac health seriously, going for regular check-ups and consulting your cardiologist regularly.

About the Hospital:

Neelima Hospitals is an aspiring ’go-to’ Multi-Speciality Medical Center for communities, that look for affordable and effective Healthcare facilities. Dr. P Neelima & Dr. P Srinivasulu, the founding members of Neelima Hospitals aspire to ‘serve middle class people, who need efficient & effective medical treatment, at affordable prices’. Their strong conviction and guiding philosophy motivated them to establish Neelima Hospital in the year 2008.

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