“The most disruptive feeling was knowing I had an irregular heartbeat and constantly wondering what it meant long term for my life, my health and my career.”
Tim K., Family man and airline pilot
Tim chose catheter ablation to treat his irregular heartbeat after his medication left him feeling tired and did not fully correct his AFib. Tim underwent catheter ablation, which restored his energy and allowed him to continue his career as a pilot. “Since undergoing catheter ablation, my heart has continued to beat perfectly and strongly 100% of the time, and I feel great!”
Tim was meeting with his chiropractor when the doctor noticed his irregular heartbeat. A cardiologist soon diagnosed him with atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common heart rhythm condition in the United States, affecting nearly three million Americans.
Given Tim’s profession as an airline pilot, he had to get AFib under control in order to pass his medical exams and continue his career.
“My cardiologist prescribed medicine, but it didn’t fully control my symptoms, and also made me incredibly tired,” says Tim. “As a pilot, we have to pass strict medical exams to continue flying. I knew that if I didn’t have my AFib under control, I was putting my career – and perhaps even the safety of passengers – at risk.”
Tim’s experience is not uncommon as over half of patients with AFib either don’t respond to or cannot tolerate drug therapy because of its side effects. To address Tim’s AFib, his electrophysiologist recommended a procedure called catheter ablation with the THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheter.
“AFib can have significant medical and quality of life implications for patients,” says Dr. Craig Delaughter of Dallas, Texas. “Catheter ablation is an important treatment option because it has proven results in improving clinical outcomes and helping patients like Tim get back to their lives.”
Since having his ablation, Tim’s heart hasn’t skipped a beat, and he is back to work doing what he loves again.
“Since the therapy earlier this summer, my AFib symptoms are gone and I’m back in the cockpit, right where I belong,” Tim says. “The fact that my heart was beating perfectly and strongly was such an overwhelming relief. I encourage people with Afib to talk to their doctor about the path that might be right for them.”
Remember, as with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. Only a cardiologist or electrophysiologist can determine whether ablation is an appropriate course of treatment. There are potential risks including bleeding, swelling or bruising at the catheter insertion site, and infection. More serious complications are rare, which can include damage to the heart or blood vessels; blood clots (which may lead to stroke); heart attack, or death. These risks need to be discussed with your doctor and recovery takes time.
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