The Coast News Group
Lisa Gleason, MD. Courtesy photo
Health & BeautyHealth and Beauty (Sponsored)

Sharp Memorial Hospital offers advanced treatments for irregular heartbeats

Taking care of your heart is vital to your overall health. At Sharp Memorial Hospital, an expert team of cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, electrophysiologists and nurse practitioners provides comprehensive heart and vascular care. 

One expert, Lisa Gleason, MD, specializes in cardiac electrophysiology, treating irregular heartbeats caused by atrial fibrillation (AFib) and other conditions. AFib occurs when electrical signals in the heart’s upper chamber short-circuit. As a result, the heart beats out of rhythm, which can cause blood clots to form and travel to the brain, leading to stroke. People with AFib are five times more likely to have a stroke and develop heart failure, even though many have no symptoms.

Using state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Gleason and her team provide extraordinary care for people with AFib by fixing the short circuit and returning the heart’s rhythm to normal using catheter ablation. This minimally invasive procedure scars small areas of heart tissue to block the abnormal electrical impulses. Individuals who undergo successful ablations for AFib reduce their stroke risk. These procedures may eliminate the ongoing need for blood thinners. In most cases, patients are admitted on the morning of the procedure and stay overnight. Most patients can resume normal activities the next day.

“What I love about my job is that we can cure people of some irregular heartbeats and markedly improve others,” says Dr. Gleason. “It’s a good day when we take someone in for a procedure, we fix their ‘short circuit,’ and then they go home. Giving patients good health and peace of mind is so rewarding.”

Dr. Gleason says successfully treating AFib is a partnership between physicians and their patients, who must also optimize their lifestyles. Patients can decrease their risk of developing AFib by reducing their weight, stress, alcohol consumption, and intake of other stimulants. Controlling high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea also effectively reduces the risk of developing AFib.

The cardiovascular team at Sharp Memorial Hospital performs more than 300 catheter ablations yearly. 

Other treatment options for AFib include left atrial appendage closure devices; left atrial appendage exclusion procedures; maze, mini-maze, and hybrid maze procedures; pacemakers; clinical trials; and medical therapy.

Sharp has cardiac specialists across San Diego County focused on helping patients improve their heart health. To learn more, visit sharp.com/heart, or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.