At the Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health, patients with heart rhythm and electrical signaling abnormalities receive the best treatment in the region.
Clinical cardiac electrophysiology is the treatment of abnormal heart disorders, and the cardiologists specializing in this area are referred to as electrophysiologists. These doctors are highly trained in the mechanics and function of the electrical activities of the heart, with expertise in treating atrial fibrillation, heart flutter and other abnormal heart rhythms.
The Institute for Heart & Vascular Health has treatment options including remote monitoring devices, genetic testing, a full range of pacemaker and cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) devices, advanced mapping and ablation therapy and more.
Cryoablation is an alternative method of treating cardiac arrhythmias, specifically atrial fibrillation. As opposed to traditional ablation, which uses radiofrequency energy to create a thermal scar, cryoablation creates a scar by freezing instead of burning the cardiac tissue. The advantages to this method are decreased procedural time under anesthesia, more durable lesion formation, and lower risk of severe complications. This technology has been FDA approved since 2010 and is widely used throughout the US and Europe. Currently, Renown is the only center in Northern Nevada offering this type of ablation for atrial fibrillation.
Pacemakers are used to treat slow heart rhythms. Conventionally, these are devices with subcutaneous generators placed over the chest muscle, and connected to one or more wires (leads) that are implanted through veins inside the heart muscle. These types of pacemakers are necessary for many patients, however some patients are candidates for "leadless" pacing. This type of pacemaker is the size of a small capsule, and contains the generator and pacing apparatus all within this compact unit. This device is implanted directly into the heart through a groin vein, without any incisions needed. For those who are a candidate for this type of "leadless" pacemaker, the advantages include a much lower rate of chronic infection, a lack of a scar or generator on the chest, and a lower rate of complications owing to the absence of leads. Currently, Renown is the only center in Northern Nevada offering this type of pacemaker.
WATCHMAN is a permanent cardiac device for patients with atrial fibrillation not caused by mitral valve stenosis or who have a mechanical heart valve. It is a onetime procedure performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. Atrial fibrillation significantly increases the risk of stroke, and this device is designed to reduce the stroke risk. WATCHMAN is the only FDA approved device that serves as an alternative to traditional blood thinner therapies such as warfarin for reduction of stroke risk in atrial fibrillation. Patients are able to stop taking blood thinners 45 days after the procedure.