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Electrophysiology Services at BMC

MenendezElectroWeb.jpgAs Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing at BMC, Teresa Menendez, MD, performs electrophysiology studies in which small catheters are guided through veins in the leg into a patient's heart to evaluate its electrical impulses. In the process, Dr. Menendez identifies areas of the heart muscle that are responsible for causing an arrhythmia and may recommend treatment with medications or with ablation therapy.

Some patients require the implantation of electrical devices to adjust the rhythm so that the heart beats more effectively and safely.

In addition to the diagnostic EP studies, the following services take place in our lab:

  • Ablation: is a procedure that can correct heart rhythm problems by scarring or destroying tissue that blocks the abnormal electrical signal that travels through your heart.  Depending on the type of arrhythmia, the ablation procedure may attempt to block the route of an electrical "short-circuit" within the heart, or directly eliminate a single point in the heart that is responsible for the abnormal rhythm.
  • Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices (CIEDs):
    • Permanent pacemakers are implanted electronic devices that monitor your heart rate and rhythm, providing electrical impulses if the heart rate is too slow.
    • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) are electronic devices that constantly monitor your heart rate and rhythm.  When it detects a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm that is the hallmark of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, it delivers a life-saving shock to the heart muscle, allowing the heart to resume beating in a normal rhythm again.  All ICDs can also be programmed to act as back-up pacemakers, in addition to performing their primary duty of detecting and treating unstable, rapid heart rhythms.
    • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is a specialized form of pacing that is paired with some pacemakers and ICDs to treat advanced heart failure in selected patients who have a delay in the normal conduction of electrical impulses to the lower pumping chambers of the heart.  CRT therapy electrically paces the heart from multiple sites simultaneously, allowing for improved synchronization of the contraction of the heart. 
    • Implantable Loop Recorders (ILR) are small devices that are implanted in patients to help diagnose infrequent rhythm disturbances that may not be adequately captured with standard event monitoring.  ILRs can be left in place for more than a year, and then can be removed when they have provided the required diagnostic information. 

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