When Is Surgery Required To Treat An Abnormal Heart Rhythm?

Question: When is surgery required to treat an abnormal heart rhythm?

Answer: Generally, we believe that you should try medicines first for every virtually every arrhythmia that there is. Unfortunately in almost every arrhythmia we have, medicines are only about 60 percent effective, whether it's for Wolf Parkinson White therapy, AV nodal re-entry or atrial fibrillation.

Now for those 40-percent or more of people that medicine don't work for, we do have other options and some of those are surgical options. And in surgical options we actually have a whole array from using a catheter with just a groin poke, to going on the heart lung machine and doing open- heart surgery to at times ---actually, at our institution, we do in between and we do some surgeries with part of acatheter and part of with beating heart surgery.