Monday, June 20, 2005


Once again, nearly a month has passed since I've last posted anything on this rather sad excuse for a blog. Life has been busy; just the way I like it.

Today I had a nice change of pace at work. My boss (an EP doc) was performing a pulmonary vein isolation on a lady in the cath lab. If you don't know what I'm talking about make use of these wonderful tools: and Anyway, apparently it is one of the more difficult procedures that they perform in the cath lab. This procedure is one of the current methods used to treat atrial fibrillation (AF). In many cases, electrically active cells in the four pulmonary veins stimulate the heart in an abnormal manner causing the atria to beat rapidly and uncontrollably. Unlike ventricular fibrillation (VF) or tachycardia (VT), you don't go into cardiac arrest and you can still function normally as long as the ventricles contract in a somewhat regular rhythm. However, patients do experience discomfort from AF and it can lead to VT.

Anyway, they insert this halo catheter into each of the pulmonary veins and locate the electrically active cells through the ECG's. The halo consists of 20 electrodes that are grouped in pairs to give a total of 10 signals from the walls of the pulmonary veins. This acts as a guide for the ablation catheter. Once they are located, they use an ablation catheter to inactivate these cells by essentially killing the cells using a radiofrequency. I was only there for about 4 hours of the procedure that probably took at least 6 in total.

Well, that's about the limit of my attention span. Here are a few pictures from my 21st birthday to top it all off...

Makin' a wish... Posted by Hello

Cheese! Posted by Hello



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