Published on October 16, 2015

Keeping the rhythm

Advanced treatment is now available for complex heart disorders

rhythm stripCorrecting an abnormal heartbeat is no simple task. Not when you have to find and fix electrical short circuits deep within the heart.

It’s a type of care you might expect to find only at a medical center that’s hours away. But the good news is you’ll find it right here—just around the corner at Mercy Fitzgerald.

We’ve partnered with cardiologists Darius Sholevar, MD, and Devender Akula, MD, and the team at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden. Together we provide specialty cardiac services to the community through a new electrophysiology lab at Mercy Fitzgerald. One new procedure we offer is ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF), an abnormal heartbeat.

How does ablation work?

First, doctors feed a catheter through a leg vein to the heart. Then they use 3-D mapping and live ultrasound pictures to see the area. Next they find the faulty heart tissues causing the irregular rhythm. Finally, they destroy the bad cells with heat, allowing the heart to return to its normal rhythm.

“We try to eliminate all of these abnormal electrical signals,” says Dr. Sholevar.

The results can be excellent. Ablation often cures AF, he says. This means that many people no longer need medications to control their heart rhythm.