Charles’s Story

“I’m able to get out and do more than in the past.”

For years, an implantable defibrillator monitored Charles Craddock’s heart rhythm and helped prevent a sudden loss of heart function. However, because his heart muscle was significantly scarred, there came a time when the defibrillator was no longer enough to keep his heart rhythm stable–a life-threatening concern. That’s when his doctors at the Atrial Fibrillation Center decided to perform radiofrequency catheter ablation.

Radiofrequency catheter ablation is a nonsurgical, catheter-based procedure that records and processes electrical signals inside the heart in real time. X-rays provide continuous imaging while different mapping systems help position the catheters correctly. A mild, painless energy pulse is then delivered to areas that have electrical abnormalities, removing carefully selected cardiac cell bundles that cause the specific rhythm problems.

“I’m happy to report that he hasn’t had any abnormal rhythms since the procedures were completed,” said Alex Costea, MD, one of the electrophysiologists involved in performing the ablation.

Charles says he feels great–and his quality of life has improved tremendously. “I’m able to get out and do more than in the past,” he says. “My wife and I will go for walks, and I can walk up to a mile and a half on good days…whereas before I was straining to do a quarter of a mile.”

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