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In a Heartbeat

Over the course of a 70-year lifetime, the average human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times. You may take each thump for granted, unless something goes seriously wrong including changes in electrical impulses in your heart that cause it to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or erratically (fibrillation).

El Camino Hospital’s electrophysiology program treats abnormal heart rhythms and other disorders with a full spectrum of advanced procedures. This includes catheter ablations, in which heat from radio waves, applied via a thin wire threaded through a vein to the heart, destroys problematic heart tissue. Ablation therapy to treat atrial fibrillation (AF), irregular beats in the heart’s upper chambers, is the most common electrophysiology procedure.

“In addition to this clinical program, El Camino Hospital is engaged in research and utilizes leading-edge technology,” says cardiologist Bing Liem, DO. Some examples:

  • Lead extraction surgical removal of the special wire (lead) that delivers energy to the heart from an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator. According to Dr. Lim, not all academic centers perform this procedure.
  • Use of latest-generation implantable devices that restore/maintain proper heart rhythm—a clinical trial for a leadless pacemaker (one of only three area hospitals).

People with AF are at higher risk of stroke and other conditions. Take our stroke risk assessment or learn more about our electrophysiology program.

This article first appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of the El Camino Hospital Health Beat magazine.

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