Your Healthy Family

Jan 14, 2014 7:30 PM by Annie Snead

Your Healthy Family: Abnormal Heart Rhythm

A local man is telling his story about his heart condition.
John Fort is pretty active, so after an afternoon of rock climbing, when he started feeling like his heart was skipping beats - it got his attention.
"It concerned me because along with the fatigue that accompanied it, I was concerned that there was something seriously wrong with my heart," he said.
Turns out he was having preventricular contractions or PVC's: extra heart beats.
"I wore a heart rate monitor for 24 hours, and to my surprise discovered that the PVC's were occuring over 18 thousand times in a 24 hour period so my concern level escalated," Fort said.
And that can damage the heart if it continues.
So he underwent a procedure at Memorial Hospital called a cardiac ablation.
"With the procedure, we were able to advance catheters - small tubes- through the veins in the leg up to the heart - and in this room - to map out where exactly in the heart these spots were coming from," said Dr. Brad Mikaelian.
Dr. Mikaelian says they were able to "burn" the tissue causing the weakness.
"Within a week following the procedure, I was back to my normal activities including hiking and rock climbing, and have not experienced a single PVC in two years," said Fort.
John says he's thankful, not only for extending the years of his life..
"But for substantially enhancing the quality of my life that I'm able to enjoy every day," he added.
And encourages others to pay attention.
"Regardless of what the tests say, do not hesitate to speak up to your physician, do not hesitate to sit down with your physician and explore all the possibilities because you know better than anyone what's going on with your own body," he said.
There's a wide variety of symptoms,- but symptoms include any kind of episodes of your heart racing, or skipping.
Doctors say if you're experiencing those, they recommend getting on a heart rate monitor for 24 hours.
You can even wear some at your home.


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