WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A Wichita Falls hospital got an upgrade for patients with a dangerous heart condition.
United Regional Health Care System can now treat patients with a rhythmic heart disorder with its new electrophysiology department. Patients with heart conditions in Texoma, like Pastor Tom Rodgers, would have to find a specialist in Dallas or Fort Worth.
Rodgers' cardiologist diagnosed him with atrial fibrillation last year. It is a rhythmic heart disorder that commonly causes poor blood flow. Unlike many rhythmic heart disorders, atrial fibrillation has no cure.
Rodgers said after he 'listened to his body' he noticed he suffered from several symptoms the disorder causes.
"I realized I have shortness of breath and I began to realize, I was wheezing a great deal," Rodgers said.
Other symptoms include fainting and even stroke which is how Dr. Dapran Kumar, head of United Regional's Electrophysiology Department, said some patients learned they had it.
"Once we detect they do have an arrhythmia, we can go ahead and appropriately treat that patient. not only prevent them from having a future stroke but to prevent them from having symptoms from their arrhythmia," Dr. Kumar said.
Dr. Kumar and his team place catheters inside the heart and evaluate on a 3-D map. The experts can then identify what's causing the problem and how severe it is
"Once we determine where the arrhythmia is coming from, we can successfully go and treat it with what's known as an ablation. we either catheterize or freeze tissue to get rid of the arrhythmia," Dr. Kumar said.
That can help patients like Rodgers hear some better news from their body next time they listen.
"I'm really delighted that I can get it done in such a timely fashion," Rodgers said.
Dr. Kumar said they have already treated around 70 patients since the department opened six months ago.