New technology at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital helps to fix heart problems

Upgrade means less radiation exposure

ROANOKE, Va. – There's new technology to help with heart problems.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital has a new cardiac electrophysiology lab that's only been in use for about two weeks.

It's an upgrade over previous technology where radiation exposure was higher for patients and staff.

Patients come into the lab with abnormal heart rhythms. Dr. Carl Musser places a catheter in their heart where they can do an ablation, which is essentially cauterizing the heart to make the abnormal rhythms go away without the need for medication.

"Abnormal heart rhythms are fairly common, particularly as our population ages. Many of them are very symptomatic from these arrhythmias. Medication can be useful but often times ineffective or poorly tolerated due to side effects," said Dr. Musser, the Carilion Clinic medical director of cardiac electrophysiology lab.

It can take anywhere from one to six hours depending on the situation. Many patients can go home the same day and just lay low for a couple of days.  For more complex procedures, you may have to stay overnight and it may take a couple weeks to feel back to normal.

Dr. Musser says if you have shortness of breath, chest discomfort or you feel like your heart is skipping around reach out to your doctor who can refer you to a specialist.

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