Painless Cure for Abnormal Heart Rhythm

As an active mother of two... Nancy Abram's life was normal in every way.... except for the blackouts.

"It was terrifying. It was not normal,"  Abrams said, "I would have incidents where out of nowhere my heart would race so fast it would just knock me off my feet. I would just go down."

Once during tennis she fainted and a friend took her pulse... It was about 200 beats a minute.

"The heart is an electrical organ, it beats regularly and you can have a short circuit in the heart, just like you would a light bulb short circuiting," said Dr. Shephal Doshi of the Pacific Heart Institute.

Dr. Doshi diagnosed Abrams with heart arrhythmia... and suggested a procedure that might cure her.

It's called cryoblation.  Unlike some treatements that burn off the tissue, Dr. Doshi freezes it.

A catheter is maneuvered up to the heart through an artery. Then it attaches to the faulty tissue and delivers a freeze.

"The nice thing about freezing is that it's safer. It's less likely to cause problems,"  Dr. Doshi said, "If we see soomething bad happening we can say turn that off let's rewarm the tissue, and that tissue can come back.  We find the short circuit in the heart, and we destroy the tissue that's firing abnormally."

Nancy had the procedure done a year ago, and she is back to playing tennis. She hasn't had a single episode.

"Sometimes i have to pinch myself to believe what happened to me. It was a surreal experinece but it was fixed so fast," Abrams said.

"If you or anywone yiou know has fainting spells or if someone has a hisotory of arbnormal heart beats, we can do fairly simple tests to find out if something similar to nancy's problem is causing the abnormal rhythm and if cryoablation can cure it; if it can, it is painless," Dr. Hensel said.

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