SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The most common heart rhythm disorder is Atrial Fibrillation or A-fib, and surprisingly it affects a lot of people.
A-fib is when your heart beats irregularly and at a fast rate. Cardiologists say some people with A-fib can experience 800 beats per minute.
Dr. Trey Baucum is a cardiologist with the Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists in Shreveport, and says at least once a week he sees people who don’t know they have A-fib.
Dr. Baucum says there are typically no symptoms so most don’t know they have it until they have a stroke.
“Like a lot of other heart diseases, A-fib can kind of sneak up on you,” he said.
Some signs you can look out for are a fast heart rate, shortness of breath, fatigue or swelling in the legs, according to Dr. Baucum.
There are ways to treat A-fib through blood thinners or medication that can help get your heart back to a normal rhythm.
“We can do a thing called an ablation where we can go up into your heart, find the source of the Atrial Fibrillation and control it with radio frequency energy,” said Dr. Baucum.
Instead of being treated at a hospital or driving down south of Louisiana to an outpatient facility, now people can be treated in North Louisiana.
The Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists and CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier have teamed up to open North Louisiana’s first heart and vascular center.
People dealing with A-fib or other heart complications can be treated at this new outpatient facility and leave all in the same day.
When you’re in the hospital of course you are taking care of a lot of critically ill patients, people come through the emergency room with emergencies and so you’re more likely to get bumped,” said Baucum. “In an outpatient facility it’s more patient centric. Pretty much you go in on your scheduled time.”
The center can host a variety of procedures involving pace makers, generator changes and implantable monitors, and it has two cath labs inside.
The facility saw its first patient this summer and will host a ribbon cutting on Thursday, September 6.
Dr. Baucum says if anyone is experiencing any chest or heart related issues they should reach out and set up an appointment with their cardiologists. He suggests people see a cardiologist at least once a year.