From an interview with
Dr. Kishore Subnani
McLeod Cardiology Associates Little River
When a heart beats too fast, too slow or erratically, you may be referred to an Electrophysiologist, a subspecialist like Dr. Kishore Subnani.
Here are the key points of Dr. Subnani’s interview:
Electrophysiology, a subspecialty of cardiology, deals with the heart’s electrical system.
An electrophysiologist is basically an “electrician of the heart,” determining why patients feel bad, giving them a diagnosis, treating them and fixing the problem. If a procedure doesn’t remedy the problem, the electrophysiologist may try medications to manage it.
An electrophysiologist starts off with an Electrophysiology (EP) Study, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, that helps determine the cause for the patient’s symptoms, such as fainting or palpitations. An IV goes into a vein in the groin area, passing catheters in the heart, while recording the electrical signals. When patients have an abnormal heartbeat, it’s most often called an Arrhythmia.
Cardiomyopathy, a weak heart muscle, represents another problem that an Electrophysiologist treats. In these patients, the goal it to prevent sudden cardiac death by implanting cardiac defibrillators.
A common arrhythmia afflicting the population causes an irregular heartbeat, and it can also cause a rapid heartbeat. In Atrial Fibrillation, the top and bottom chambers of the heart are not in sync. The upper chambers do not contract very well. When they don’t contract well, blood can pool in the top chambers and can cause clots. These clots form in a pouch in the left upper chamber of the heart called the left atrial appendage. These clots can dislodge and float into a person’s blood stream. Sometimes clots end up in the legs, causing pain and other issues. Or a clot can travel to the brain, causing a stroke.
Traditionally, people with so-called Afib were treated with warfarin to thin the blood and avoid clots. But people on warfarin needed close monitoring. There are newer agents called novel oral anticoagulants, such as Eliquis, Xarelto and Pradaxa. These medications are easier to take and require less follow-up. Patients do not require monthly monitoring, when taking these medications as they do if they are on warfarin.
Find an Electrophysiologist near you.