Keeping Pace with Irregular Heart Beats: TMC’s Electrophysiology Services

Tucson Medical Center is the only hospital in Arizona and one of only 175 medical centers in the world with a state-of-the-art Stereotactic Electrophysiology Suite, in which physicians can detect and robotically correct irregular heartbeats, also called arrhythmias.

And, according to a recently study, Stereotaxis is at least 10 times safer than all other modalities, which will contribute to safer and better outcomes for its patients.

Led by Dr. Darren Peress, one of the technology’s key opinion leaders and educators, the Electrophysiology Suite uses large magnets situated on either side of the patient to safely guide a soft catheter into the patient’s heart. Once there, the tip is used to ablate the tissue responsible for the misfiring behind the arrhythmia. This process significantly reduces the need for X-rays and resulting radiation exposure.

An arrhythmia is an electrical disorder of the heart in which it beats too fast, too slow or irregularly. From bothersome to potentially life-threatening, arrhythmias that cause obvious symptoms such aschest pain, dizziness or a racing heartbeat sensation should be evaluated by a physician.

“We place an ablation catheter through a vein in the leg that allows the catheter to reach the heart,” explains Peress. “We can then heat the tip of the catheter to cauterize any muscle tissue that might be generating abnormal electrical activity.”

The computer-guided catheter, a thin, long and flexible wire with magnets to navigate the way, glides easily against the wall of the heart without puncturing it, making it safer than a manually held catheter. “It’s safe, soft and very precise,” Peress says. “It navigates into places you may not be able to get a manually held catheter. This new technology makes complicated procedures significantly easier and safer.”

The practice of electrophysiology has quickly evolved over the last decade, while physicians’ understanding of arrhythmias has grown significantly. “TMC has made a strong commitment to staying on the cutting edge.”

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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