Tag Archives: electrophysiology

Fixing A Racing Heartbeat at Lexington Cardiology

We’re pleased to bring you a blog series called “Meet the Patients.” We share the stories of Lexington Medical Center patients whose experiences will educate and inspire readers about the outstanding care provided throughout our hospital network and the importance of modern medicine.

For years, Natalie Herndon felt her heartbeat racing extremely fast. Many doctors dismissed the University of South Carolina student’s symptoms as anxiety. But at Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, doctors discovered something wrong with Natalie’s heart – and knew just how to fix it. She shares her story below.

Natalie’s condition was called PSVT – paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. That’s an abnormal heart rhythm where the electrical signal goes in a circle around the heart rather than in a straight line from top to bottom. It causes a rapid heart rate and can make people feel palpitations, or fluttering, of the heart. In Natalie’s case, she was born with an extra electrical connection in the heart that allows the signal to move faster than usual. She underwent a cardiac ablation that stopped the abnormal heart rhythm in its tracks.

Since her procedure in July, Natalie no longer suffers from PSVT episodes.

For information on Dr. Christopher Rowley and Lexington Cardiology, visit LexCardio.com.

Outrunning Heart Disease: A Lesson in Fainting, Family and Faith

Diane McNinch loves to run. She routinely logs more than 20 miles a week around Columbia.

“When I’m running, I leave my stress behind, pray and spend time with friends,” she said. “It’s not only my fitness; it’s my therapy.”

Diane McNinch on her favorite running trail in West Columbia

But there was a time when the 51 year old was afraid she wouldn’t be able to run anymore.

“I have a history of fainting,” Diane said.

Over the years, she fainted while pregnant with her daughter, when singing in church, and after having hip surgery. There was never a definitive reason why.

That’s until she went to an annual checkup with her primary care physician. Results of an EKG showed something was wrong with her heart’s electrical activity.

Diane’s doctor referred her to Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, for a full workup.

At Lexington Cardiology, Diane received a diagnosis of Long QT Syndrome, a condition where the muscle cells of the heart take an abnormally long time to “recharge.” Untreated, LQTS can increase the risk for a life-threatening arrhythmia.

“While many patients with LQTS don’t have any symptoms, others experience palpitations, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, seizures or even cardiac arrest,” said William W. Brabham, MD, FHRS, an electrophysiologist with Lexington Cardiology.

Doctors treat LQTS with medications called beta blockers or by implanting a defibrillator. Treatment decisions are individualized based on many factors.

Dr. Brabham implanted a defibrillator in Diane’s side.

“It’s like an insurance policy,” Diane said. “If something goes wrong, the defibrillator will go off and I’ll be OK. I’m so thankful for this technology.”

LQTS can be acquired through certain medications that inhibit electrolyte movement. It can also be inherited from a parent or occur spontaneously without family history.

Diane learned her case was genetic. So, she shared the news with her family.

Family Ties

Diane, her brother and sister were screened for LQTS. Her sister tested positive. Her brother is waiting for his results. Diane’s two children – in their 20s – will be tested, too.

Diane had an infant brother who died unexpectedly in the 1960s. She now wonders if he had the condition. Both of her parents also passed away after a history of heart problems.

“Many people have no symptoms, no family history of heart problems and may never know they have the condition,” Dr. Brabham said. “Others my have a family history of sudden cardiac death or worrisome symptoms. They should see their doctor.”

Using her own experience to help others, Diane stressed the importance of developing a relationship with your physician and knowing your family history.

“I’m thankful our heart condition was found. Now that we know we have it, we can treat it,” she said.

On the Road Again
After having the defibrillator implanted, Diane took some time off from running. But doctors permitted her to work her way back into it gradually.

She ran the Lexington Medical Center Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler in honor of her parents and their heart history.

She also joined a group called “Run for God,” a faith and endurance program.

“’Run for God’ not only helped me with running, but it also taught me how to work through adversity,” she said. “I plan to persevere and make the best of my situation.”

Fixing Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Did you know your heart has an electrical system? It does! And it helps your heart keep a healthy beat. When something goes wrong with a heart’s rhythm, an electrophysiologist can help. In this WLTX interview, Dr. Christopher Rowley of Lexington Cardiology at Lexington Medical Center talks about fixing abnormal heartbeats.

 

Christopher P. Rowley, MD, graduated magna cum laude from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and earned his medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He then completed his internal medicine internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, while completing Duke’s Clinical Research Training Program. He went on to complete cardiovascular disease and electrophysiology fellowships at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Dr. Christopher Rowley

Board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and electrophysiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Rowley is also a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Heart Rhythm Society. Prior to joining Lexington Medical Center’s network of care, he provided cardiac electrophysiology services at Brookwood Medical Center and Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, and at Shelby Medical Center in Alabaster, Alabama.

He’s accepting new patents. Visit LexCardio.com.

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