Greg Botteron, MD, uses radiofrequency ablation to destroy tissue that causes atrial fibrillation.
Shortness of breath
A-Fib Risk Factors
High blood presure
Heavy alcohol or tobacco use
The Heart's 'Electrician'
Cardiac electrophysiologists offer many treatments for heart arrhythmias
This technology makes the procedure faster and much safer for patients and gives us better long-term results, says Greg Botteron, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist.
When physicians talk about heart conditions, they often categorize them in two broad terms as either “plumbing” or “electrical” problems. Plumbing can include blocked or narrowed blood vessels or malfunctioning heart valves.
Electrical problems are issues with the heart’s “wiring.” They can occur in any of the heart’s four chambers and result in a heart that beats irregularly, too fast or too slow.
You may experience only sporadic arrhythmias, but an electrical problem shouldn't be ignored because of the risk of stroke or sudden cardiac death.
“The most common symptoms are fluttering or palpitations,” says Greg Botteron, MD, a board-certified cardiac electrophysiologist at St. Anthony’s. “Patients also may feel anxious or exhausted because the heart simply isn't pumping enough blood.”
Medications and lifestyle changes are the first steps in controlling a heart arrhythmia. Some patients need a cardioversion, an electrical “jump start” to jolt their heart back into a normal rhythm, or have either a pacemaker or defibrillator implanted to help the heart maintain a normal rhythm.
Atrial fibrillation (AF), a rapid, erratic rhythm in the top chambers that causes the heart to beat too fast or irregularly, is the most common heart arrhythmia. It now can be treated—and potentially cured—with a nonsurgical approach called radiofrequency ablation. This procedure targets heart tissue that triggers the erratic rhythm by snaking catheters through the blood vessels from the groin into the heart to deliver radiofrequency energy, thereby destroying the tissue causing AF. More atrial fibrillation ablations are performed at St. Anthony’s than at any other hospital in the region.
The Electrophysiology Lab at St. Anthony’s was specifically designed to perform complex ablation procedures. Dr. Botteron uses a 3-D color heart mapping system with GPS technology to visualize each patient’s heart without X-rays and guide catheters to the right location. St. Anthony’s was the first in the region to acquire the technology. “We create a live 3-D image of a patient’s heart, which allows us to then place the catheter in the exact location to destroy tiny areas of tissue while preserving surrounding heart muscle,” he says. “This technology makes the procedure faster and much safer for patients and gives us better long-term results.”
If patients need surgery, St. Anthony’s offers the MAZE procedure. Surgeons make microscopic incisions in the heart muscle to block abnormal pathways for electrical impulses and re-route them to restore natural heart rhythm.
4+3+2+1 = A Perfect 10
St. Anthony’s technology and physician expertise is the solution for heart problems
Already listed as a nationally accredited Chest Pain Center and recognized by many insurance plans as a Center of Excellence for heart services, St. Anthony’s has the latest technology available to treat a wide range of cardiovascular problems—plumbing and electrical. Heart and vascular surgeons, electrophysiologists, interventional radiologists and cardiologists share knowledge and coordinate services and staff throughout the medical center, which has:
4 Interventional Radiology Suites
3 Cardiac Cath labs
2 Electrophysiology labs (1 with 3-D color heart imaging)
1 Endovascular Operating Room
“The advantage of grouping our heart treatment rooms together is that we have multiple specialties involved so we can take care of patients across the continuum, whether it’s prevention, diagnosis, treatment or aftercare,” says Brian Peterson, MD, a board-certified vascular surgeon. “There are also many illnesses that have co-existing conditions that involve both the heart and the peripheral vascular system, so the benefits of collaboration translate to better care for patients.”
In addition to comprehensive surgical and treatment areas, St. Anthony’s has a specialized Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Rehabilitation Fitness Center. It also offers outpatient cardiac catheterization procedures in separate facilities located in its Physicians Office Building.
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
At St. Anthony's, our vision is to be the area's premier health care organization
— and your first choice for health care services.