A clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, or cardiac EP, specializes in treating rhythm problems of the heart. A cardiac EP is a cardiologist who completes three years of extra training beyond that required for board certification in cardiology to specialize in problems of the heart and blood vessels.
NCMA’s Dr. Ashwani Bedi is board certified in cardiac electrophysiology, cardiovascular disease and internal medicine. He brings specialty expertise in all aspects of cardiac electrophysiology including SVT and VT ablations, atrial fibrillation ablations, pacing (including BiV pacing) and defibrillation as well as intracardiac echocardiography. Dr. Bedi was the recipient of the Health Care Hero Award and received multiple WOW designations at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He has a professional interest in cardiac ablations, prevention and awareness of sudden cardiac death in communities and has been actively involved in cardiac screening for college athletes.
Common reasons to see an electrophysiologist
A cardiac EP can diagnose and treat conditions such as:
- Atrial fibrillation (an irregular, fast heart rhythm in the upper chambers of the heart),
- Bradycardia (a heartbeat that is too slow),
- Tachycardia (a heartbeat that is too fast),
- Ventricular tachycardia ( a particularly dangerous type of very fast heartbeat),
- Supraventricular tachycardia (characterized by a sudden, very fast heartbeat),
- Ventricular fibrillation (dangerous fluttering of the heart muscle that doesn’t let it pump blood and can be fatal),
- Sudden cardiac arrest (the heart suddenly stops beating),
- Long QT syndrome (a disorder of the heart that can cause sudden arrhythmias)
- Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome (a condition that causes episodes of a fast heartbeat caused by an extra electrical pathway in the heart), and
- other arrhythmias (Arrhythmias can be caused by pregnancy, medicine interactions, or metabolic problems)
What is arrhythmia
In a normal, healthy heart, the upper chambers (the atria) and lower chambers (the ventricles) work together, alternately contracting and relaxing to pump blood. Sometimes the rhythm changes, resulting in an irregular heartbeat — it may becomes too fast (more than 100 beats per minute) or too slow (fewer than 60 beats per minute). Sometimes arrhythmia is caused by an injury from a heart attack. It can also happen in patients who are recovering from heart surgery, have coronary artery disease or valve disorders.
Arrhythmia can also be caused by an imbalance of sodium or potassium, or be the result of stress. An electrophysiologist can order special tests to confirm arrhythmia and to determine its cause. Once identified, arrhythmia can be treated in a number of way including;
- lifestyle changes
- invasive therapies if necessary
If medications and lifestyle changes don’t correct the problem, an electrophysiologist may consider catheter ablation. With this procedure a thin tube is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin. A wire is put through this catheter and sent up to the heart. A small part of the heart that is causing arrhythmia is destroyed with radiofrequency energy, restoring normal heart function.
Electrophysiologists work to understand what is causing the disease and and using their vast knowledge and available resources, they work to develop new strategies for treating the condition. They help people with irregular heartbeats manage their condition, and work as a team with other physicians and healthcare providers so patients receive the best care possible.
For more information about the full range of services offered by Northern California Medical Associates, visit the NCMA Health website. To make an appointment with Dr. Bedi, call (707) 573-6199
NCMA Cardiology — Fountaingrove
3536 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 200
Santa Rosa, CA 95403