Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service

Frequently Asked Questions

I have been recommended to have a catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation. I have been told there are different tools and techniques? What is catheter balloon cryoablation?

Amin Al-Ahmad, MD – Associate Director, Stanford Arrhythmia Service and Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory; Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

I have been in atrial fibrillation for 10 years. I have become more and more tired and short of breath. Is it worth trying to get back to normal rhythm? Can catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation work?

Amin Al-Ahmad, MD – Associate Director, Stanford Arrhythmia Service and Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory; Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

I have an implantable defibrillator. I have received multiple shocks from it. Is there anything I can do about this?

Henry Hsia, MD – Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine; Director, Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation Program

I have been told I need catheter ablation for VT. How do you perform this?

Henry Hsia, MD – Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine; Director, Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation Program

I have atrial fibrillation every few days. I really do not feel well in atrial fibrillation. Is there a role for catheter ablation?

Paul Cameron Zei, MD, PhD – Clinical Associate Professor; Chief, Cardiovascular Clinics

I cannot take warfarin but I have had a stroke due to atrial fibrillation. Can anything be done?

Paul Cameron Zei, MD, PhD – Clinical Associate Professor; Chief, Cardiovascular Clinics

I have many PVCs. I have tried to take medications but none of them work. Are there any alternatives?

Paul Cameron Zei, MD, PhD – Clinical Associate Professor; Chief, Cardiovascular Clinics

Who should receive anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation? What is the CHADS2 scoring system?

Minang (Mintu) Turakhia, MD, MAS – Acting Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine; Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Palo Alto VA Health Care System

Are there alternates to warfarin (or Coumadin) for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation?

Minang (Mintu) Turakhia, MD, MAS – Acting Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine; Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Palo Alto VA Health Care System

I have POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). What kinds of symptoms are typical for POTS?

Karen Friday, MD – Clinical Professor (Affiliated), Cardiovascular Medicine

I have atrial fibrillation. Is it genetic?

Marco Perez, MD – Instructor, Cardiovascular Medicine

I have been told I have long QT syndrome. Are there certain medications I should avoid?

Marco Perez, MD – Instructor, Cardiovascular Medicine

I have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Do I need an implantable defibrillator?

Marco Perez, MD – Instructor, Cardiovascular Medicine

I have a defibrillator. What should I do if I get a shock? Multiple shocks?

Kelly Cook, RN, NP – Clinical Nurse Coordinator

My doctor says that I have SVT? What is it?

Kelly Cook, RN, NP – Clinical Nurse Coordinator

I am a patient currently receiving treatment at Stanford. If I am interested, how can I help support Stanford’s work?

Paul J. Wang, MD – Director, Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service; Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

What is the difference between a pacemaker and an ICD?

Paul J. Wang, MD – Director, Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service; Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

What does a pacemaker change entail?

Paul J. Wang, MD – Director, Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service; Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

How do I take my pulse? Is the pulse accurate?

Marcia Glassford, RN – Clinical Nurse Coordinator

Why does it feel that I have a pause in my heart beat? Why does it feel like there is a strong beat after a pause?

Marcia Glassford, RN – Clinical Nurse Coordinator

What is atrial fibrillation?

Angela Tsiperfal, RN, MSN, CNS, NP – Nurse Practitioner

What symptoms do patients have with atrial fibrillation?

Angela Tsiperfal, RN, MSN, CNS, NP – Nurse Practitioner

I have SVT. My doctor says I should get an ablation. What is a catheter ablation?

Angela Tsiperfal, RN, MSN, CNS, NP – Nurse Practitioner

My doctor told me about a clinical study. What is a clinical study? What are some of the benefits?

Linda Norton, RN, MSN, CCRC – Nurse Research Manager

How do I find out about clinical studies?

Linda Norton, RN, MSN, CCRC – Nurse Research Manager

I am a patient receiving arrhythmia care at Stanford. How can I find out if I qualify for a clinical trial?

Sneha Bhamre, MPH – Research Assistant

I have a pacemaker. What is the purpose of getting a pacemaker check?

Allysonne Smith, RN – Nurse Coordinator

I am told I have decreased heart function, heart failure, and left bundle branch block. I am told I need a biventricular ICD. What is that?

Allysonne Smith, RN – Nurse Coordinator

I have a pacemaker. What is the difference between a dual chamber pacemaker and a single chamber pacemaker?

Mustafa Yahya, RN, MS – Nurse Coordinator

What is the difference between a remote device check and an in-office pacemaker or ICD check?

Kaylyn Armstrong, RN, MSN– Device Nurse Coordinator

How will I know when my procedure is scheduled? How will I know when to come? Will I need to stay overnight for my procedure?

Cynthia Ponce – Procedure Scheduler

I have an implantable defibrillator. What is the basic purpose of an ICD check?

Carlene Lutgu, RN – Device Nurse Coordinator

I have a biventricular ICD. I still do not feel better. Is there anything that I can do?

Carlene Lutgu, RN – Device Nurse Coordinator

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