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Electrophysiologists help patients keep the right beat through ablation procedures

Electrophysiologists help patients keep the right beat through ablation procedures
Like he always does before leaving for Florida in the winter to care for his parents, Roger Campbell scheduled his medical appointments, but in 2021 he needed to go earlier than planned.

“I noticed my heart rate was 132 and my oxygen was down, so I went over to the Carle Rantoul facility and asked the girls at the front desk if I could get an EKG,” he said. He ended up at Carle Foundation Hospital where his heart rate would go from 135 to 80 and then back to 135 within minutes without any exertion.

Retired from Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul where he ran the motor pool for 24 years and also retired from doing auto mechanic work at his auto shop, Campbell stays active so the fluctuating heart rate and problems breathing took him by surprise.

The abnormal heart rhythm in his case is ventricular tachycardia. He had two procedures – a heart catheterizeration, involving insertion of a tube into the groin and up to the heart with help from a special X-ray machine, and placement of a small tube in an artery to keep the artery open, also known as a stent.

To treat the ventricular tachycardia, the team of physicians at Carle Heart and Vascular Institute determined Campbell needed cardiac ablation to resolve the arrhythmias he experienced.

“It takes a specialized center to do this type of procedure and Carle is fortunate to have a skilled team of electrophysiologists whereas some hospitals have only one such specialist,” Bryce Yantis, NP, Cardiology said.

At Carle, Benjamin J. Rhee, MD; Mbu Mongwa, MD; and Anuj Garg, MD are electrophysiologists on the team that conducts on average four to five ablation procedures weekly.

The electrophysiologists do all types of ablation procedures to people of all ages in order to restore regular heart rhythms. The work involves creating a 3-D model of the heart and using monitors to track electrical impulses in the heart, Yantis said. The electrophysiologist finds the erratic impulse and cauterizes cells in that part of the heart, deadening the cells and stopping faulty electrical signals from traveling through the heart, he said. The effort is to restore a regular heart rhythm.

Campbell said he is walking every day and trying to live a healthy lifestyle as he prepares to turn 69 on July 16. While surprised he needed the ablation procedure, Campbell said he would recommend it to anyone needing it. “The change in your heartbeat is immediate.”

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Tags: arrhythmia, electrophysiologists, heart, Heart and Vascular Institute,