Harlingen – 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:
- Atrial Flutter
- 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.