Modern Medicine: Heart Mapping - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Heart Mapping

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Panama City, Fla. -

An irregular heartbeat not only causes worry, but it can interfere with daily life. Technology available in our area allows doctors to treat the problem and get people back to their normal activities quickly.

An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Doctors can treat it by performing a cardiac ablation, all while using a mapping system to view the heart in three dimensions.

Randy Spear is an Air Force pilot. He was experiencing an unusually fast heartbeat that interfered with his career and daily activities.

"I used to could almost feel every heartbeat.  I could count heartbeats in my ears," Spear explained.

That's when he had a cardiac ablation to treat the arrhythmia. Doctors at Bay Medical Center are aided by equipment that allows them to get a closer look inside the heart.

The system maps the heart based on the electrical signals of the heart muscle and vessels. The doctor can then find the part of the heart causing the irregular heartbeat.

Cardiologist Dr. Hari Baddigam says the mapping system is similar to a GPS unit and by burning the area causing the short circuit, this blocks the bad signal in the heart.

It's been less than six months since Spear's procedure, and he says he feels great.

"The good news for me being a pilot is that I'm able to come off the medications, get my heart back to normal, and get back on flying status."