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New Ablation Procedure

Helps Patients with Heart Rhythm Problems

dr-beriRosalie Johnson will always remember that October day when she had trouble breathing.

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” the Watervliet resident said.

Knowing that something wasn’t right, Rosalie flagged down her husband, Don, who was cutting grass outside, and told him she needed to go to the hospital. Don drove Rosalie to the Emergency Department at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph for treatment. Rosalie was evaluated by two cardiology providers, Dilip Arora, MD, FACC, and Dave Chalupa, PA, who then referred her to their colleague, Abhimanyu Beri, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist specializing in treating rhythm problems of the heart.

“Electrophysiology is the study of the electrical functioning of the heart and the disorders that can happen when something goes wrong with it,” said Dr. Beri. “Patients may experience symptoms such as the feeling that their heart is racing, palpitations, their heart may beat too fast or too slow, and sometimes they can feel lightheaded or pass out from these conditions.”

Dr. Beri explained to Rosalie that she had a heart arrhythmia—a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat—and talked with her about treatment options. Rosalie was intrigued to learn about catheter ablation, a procedure in which a catheter is guided through a blood vessel to the heart. Energy is sent through the catheter to destroy small areas of heart tissue responsible for an arrhythmia.

“Dr. Beri explained everything about the procedure,” Rosalie said. “Catheter ablation was something new to me, but I thought it sounded really interesting.”

Rosalie was relaxed but awake for the procedure, which took about 90 minutes. When the ablation was over, Rosalie recovered in the Heart Center, where she was closely monitored. After returning home, she soon resumed her usual activities, including walking outdoors and keeping up with her grandchildren.

“When Rosalie initially presented, her heart function was found to be reduced, and she was developing congestive heart failure,” said Dr. Beri. “After ablation, her heart function completely normalized and she was back to living her normal life.”

Today, Rosalie continues to take medications to help control her heartbeat and checks in regularly with Dr. Beri and her longtime family physician, Mark Smalley, DO. She is thrilled that she was able to have such an advanced procedure at Lakeland, and doesn’t hesitate to share her story with friends and family.

“Dr. Beri has done wonders for me,” Rosalie said. “I feel like a new person. It is so wonderful to have the technology we have today.”

Questions about heart rhythm disorders?

Meet Dr. Beri at a free one-hour physician seminar on Thursday, February 18, at Lakeland Medical 
Center, St. Joseph. Click here for more details

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