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Harlingen Medical Center Doc Talk Lecture: Abnormal Heart Rhythm

Harlingen Medical Center Doc Talk Lecture: Abnormal Heart Rhythm

02-19-2015

Doctor with patient on operating tableHarlingen – They can make you experience palpitations, fluttering, lightheadedness, chest pressure and shortness of breath, especially when you exert yourself such as when climbing a flight of stairs or walking up an incline. They may even cause you more serious problems such as congestive heart failure or stroke. The good news is abnormal heart rhythms can be treated and corrected. They are being treated and corrected right now, in South Texas, at Harlingen Medical Center's (HMC) Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory.

Dr. Frank Mazzola, Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Partner-In-Care to Harlingen Medical Center will offer a Doc Talk Lecture, on the subject matter, on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at the hospital's Medical Office Building Conference Room, located at 5505 S. Expressway 77 in Harlingen.

"Abnormal heart rhythms can occur when an area of heart tissue fires abnormally, or when there is a short-circuit, which allows electrical impulses in the heart to follow abnormal paths," said Dr. Mazzola, Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory Director at Harlingen Medical Center. "Both of these can cause the heart to beat very rapidly, and can cause severe dizziness, shortness of breath, or fainting. Medications can be used to treat [cardiac arrhythmias]; however they are often ineffective and can have many side-effects."

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, more than two million Americans now suffer from Atrial Febrillation (AFib) and they are not even aware of it. AFib is the most common type of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) in both male and female adults.

"Essentially what it means when someone suffers from AFib is that there is an abnormal focus of electrical impulses that cause the atria to fibrillate or quiver rather than contract in a regular pattern," said Dr. Mazzola. "And, while it is not fatal in most cases, it can cause serious health issues."

AFib is just one of the several heart conditions that are treated at the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory at HMC. The unique heart program affords care to patients who may suffer from one of the following conditions:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial Flutter
  • Bradycardia
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Pace Makers and Defibrillators
  • Ventricular Fibrillation

These are all a form of arrhythmia and can be treated right here at home. Patients no longer have to travel outside of the Rio Grande Valley to receive this care.

Dr. Mazzola is one of two Cardiac Electrophysiologist in Cameron County to treat atrial fibrillation with catheter-based procedures. This type of procedure utilizes long flexible wires to enter the heart in an attempt to stop an arrhythmia at its source. In most instances, this new technology cures the arrhythmia.

In addition, the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory at HMC most recently incorporated the "ThermoCool SmartTouch Catheter." The new technology is designed to constantly monitor contact force at the tip of the catheter, against the heart, and create more consistent lesions.

If you would like to learn more about abnormal heart rhythms, please RSVP for the Dr. Frank Mazzola Doc Talk Lecture, on Wednesday, February 4th, at Harlingen Medical Center at (956) 365-1848. The lecture will include a PowerPoint presentation from Dr. Mazzola and will include a question-and-answer portion.

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