Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) has expanded its cardiac services to include electrophysiology (EP), which is the diagnoses and treatment of heart arrhythmias, or problems related to the heart’s rhythm. The expanded program features two state-of-the-art labs, fully dedicated to electrophysiology. This latest addition further rounds out the offerings at the Strickland Heart Center, which opened in 2012.
A quivering or irregular heartbeat, also known as an arrhythmia, can lead to annoying palpitations, a racing heart and more serious complications like blood clots, stroke and heart failure. The most common heart irregularity, or cardiac arrhythmia, is called atrial fibrillation (AFib) and is due to a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system.
According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 2.7 million Americans are living with such difficulties. As one population ages, the AFib epidemic is expected to worsen. If not diagnosed early and treated, it can led to devastating diagnosis, says Niraj Sharma, M.D., a GMC cardiologist and medical director of electrophysiology.
Some of the electrophysiology services offered at GMC-Lawrenceville include:
• Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
• Catheter Ablations
• Electrophysiology Study
• Internal Cardiac Defibrillator Placement
• Pacemaker Implantation
• Subcutaneous Internal Cardiac Defibrillator (SICD) Placement
Dr. Sharma’s expertise played a key role in the program’s development, including the selection of the most up-to-date equipment available and creation of processes.
According to Dr. Sharma, the equipment was selected with the patient in mind. “The EP X-ray equipment has a unique sensitivity; it provides ultra-low dose imaging. Furthermore because it optimizes multiple cameras at once, the patient’s procedure time is reduced.”
GMC’s 3-D mapping systems provide precise topography of the heart. This allows the cardiologist to easily pinpoint the arrhythmia, especially in the case of AFib, so the problem is quickly eliminated, thus reducing complications and promoting a very precise diagnosis.