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St. Luke's Is One of Three Using New Technology

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--A Cedar Rapids hospital is using new technology to treat patients with heart rhythm problems.

Saint Luke's is one of just three centers in the world to use electrophysiology catheters.

"My pulse averaged about a hundred all the time and normal is about 60, Mike Strope.

For him, one procedure is all it took to get his rhythm back.

"I had no idea that they had this new procedure. I didn't know it until I met with the doctor.

It all began last April.

Strope says he was constantly feeling tired even when he was resting.

After a trip to the E.R he learned he was suffering from atrial fibrillation, the number one cause of stroke.

"It's when the top part of the heart, the Atrium starts to beat erratically. A lot of people have symptoms. Chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, said St. Lukes Electrophysiologist, Dr. Mohit Chawla.

"I felt like I was walking in a pool of water all the time. It just was exhausting to do anything, said Strope.

Luckily Doctor Mohit Chawla had come across new technology, a catheter that helps with burning the electrical pathway that causes atrial fibrillation.

"These catheters allow us to basically deliver the appropriate energy to basically disrupt that emo-circuit and basically fix the rhythm problem, he said.

Chawla says the catheter makes it easier because it provides a clearer picture.

"It's so much easier to tell that you're delivering appropriate energy to the right spot.  So what you're doing is you're saving time. You're not burning in areas that you've already burned. You're saving energy, he said.

It's all good news for Strope.

"98 percent of the time, my heart is in rhythm now, said Strope.

The catheter is FDA approved but with a limited release in the United States.
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