Heart to Heart Senior Luncheon
Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital
Monday, February 12 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• Learn about community services for seniors
• Hear from a panel of cardiologists including Dr. Reddy, followed by Q&A
• Free health screenings
• Heart-healthy buffet
Free event, but registration required as space is limited.
Call 713.222.CARE to register.
A racing heart. A fluttering heart. Both are symptoms of anxiety. However, they can also signal a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia), such as atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation, often called AFib or AF, is a rapid and irregular heartbeat. It is the most common type of heart arrhythmia and increases the risk for stroke and heart failure.
Proper Evaluation is Needed
Sunil K. Reddy, M.D. , is an electrophysiologist (EP) affiliated with Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital and UT Physicians. EPs are cardiologists with additional training in treating the heart’s electrical system. Dr. Reddy says individuals can often dismiss a racing heart as anxiety.
“Heart arrhythmias, such as AFib, and panic attacks can feel very similar with shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain and lightheadedness,” says Dr. Reddy. “Anyone with these symptoms should be evaluated by a physician.”
The risk for AFib increases with age and is more common in individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and European ancestry. Approximately 2 percent of individuals under age 65 have AFib, but approximately 9 percent of those older than 65 have AFib.
Cardiac Catheter Ablation Can Successfully Treat AFib
In the past, antiarrhythmic medications were the only treatment for patients with AFib. Now, newer, minimally invasive surgical treatments, such as cardiac catheter ablation, are providing patients with better outcomes.
“The success of a cardiac ablation depends on what we’re treating and the underlying health of the heart,” says Dr. Reddy. “For certain patients with AFib, the success rate of ablation can be as high as 70 percent to 90 percent.”
Dr. Reddy and the affiliated heart rhythm specialists at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights who perform these ablations are faculty members of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and affiliated with the Center for Advanced Heart Failure at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute.
“We’ve had patients with AFib who undergo an ablation and now enjoy a marked improvement in quality of life,” says Dr. Reddy. “They’ve stopped toxic medications, stayed out of the hospital and, for one patient, come off her oxygen.”
Advanced Cardiology Care Close to Home
The modern electrophysiology lab at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights features an advanced mapping system that provides physicians with efficient, real-time, 3-D images of a patient’s heart. This state-of-the-art technology significantly reduces radiation exposure while giving physicians a clear view inside the heart.
“Memorial Hermann Greater Heights has some of the best technology in the city, which means advanced cardiology care in the Heights,” says Dr. Reddy.
During an ablation, a thin, flexible tube, called a catheter, is inserted through a vein or artery into the heart. Energy, similar to microwave heat, is delivered through the catheter to destroy the tissue causing abnormal heartbeats. This procedure sometimes requires an overnight hospital stay.
For an appointment to determine if symptoms are related to anxiety or a heart condition, call 713.222.CARE.