LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - February is American Heart Association month, and one of the most common types of heart issues is an irregular heart beat. Doctors say it can easily be fixed with either medication or pacemakers.
"Irregular heart beat is rather common," said Cardiologist Igor Tubin with IU Health Arnett. "They can range from rather benign irregular heart beats to sometimes very unpleasant and sometimes dangerous abnormal heart beats."
Tubin says about 15 years ago some of those dangerous irregular heart beats had to be treated with open heart surgery.
Now, Dr. Tubin is able to use catheters to help place a pacemaker to treat his patients.
"It gives the heart a small amount of electricity to stimulate the heart muscle to make the heart beat at appropriate rates," Tubin said.
Pacemakers are put in using a minimally invasive surgery and a series of catheters to place the pacemaker.
Once the catheter is in place, a pacemaker can control an irregular heart beat and usually the patient is able to go home just one day after the surgery.
"I have patients who run half-marathons after they have a pacemaker put in," said Tubin "They go back to working full-time, doing physical activities, exercising. Often times, it's a drastic difference that we see after we put in a pacemaker."
"When we have a difficult case, where we have an SVT or a flutter," Radiologic Technologist Sherry Burnette with IU Health Arnett said. "We're able to break that cycle and get them into normal sinus rhythm. It's pretty awesome."
Marjorie Rudd, who received a pacemaker Tuesday says she can barely tell a difference from before her surgery.
"I feel great," Rudd said. "Right now, I can't tell any difference in it."
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