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Hoag’s Heart Rhythm Program Helps Patients Find Their Beat

You may be one of the millions of people wearing a smartwatch that measures heart rhythm. But do you know what the gadget’s information means? And more importantly, do you know what to do if your watch alerts you to an irregular heartbeat?

“If a patient notices that they are experiencing irregular heartbeats, that could be an indication of atrial fibrillation or other cardiac issues that require the care and partnership of an experienced physician,” said Michael Panutich, M.D., who is fellowship trained in both cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology.

At the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute at Hoag, patients get the expert care of leading electrophysiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons who partner with patients to diagnose, treat and prevent heart disease and arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats.

If you see an alert on your device or start to experience irregular heartbeats, for instance, your Hoag medical team can perform an electrophysiology study, which can diagnose what type of irregular rhythm you are having.

“Electrophysiology deals with the electrical system in the heart, and electrophysiologists are trained to do procedures to treat both fast and slow heart rhythms,” Dr. Panutich said. “Once we establish a diagnosis, we can provide the appropriate treatment to get the heart back in the right rhythm.”

Implantable devices, such as pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators, biventricular pacemakers and cardiac loop recorders can help the hearts of people with certain rhythm disorders and heart failure. Last year Hoag became one of the first hospitals in the world to implant a dual chamber leadless pacemaker in a patient, which mimics the heart’s natural beat-to beat communication between both chambers of the heart.

“Over the past 10 years, research and technology have changed drastically, and we are seeing success rates for certain procedures and implantable device therapy soaring,” Dr. Panutich said. “This is true even in complex cases, and as the field’s technological capabilities expand, Hoag remains at the forefront of pioneering research and technology that will bring innovative minimally invasive procedures to patients that extend and improve our patients’ quality of life.”  

For tips on maintaining a healthy heart, listen to Dr. Lee Carter’s Empowered by Hoag podcast.

Learn more about the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute at Hoag