The heart is a complex organ responsible for sustaining life. It provides the body with blood that has been resupplied with oxygen. And this critical process starts with an all-important electrical impulse
A pumping muscle with one-way valves that seal off chambers in a finely-tuned sequence when the heart works at full capacity, we don’t notice it’s doing its job.
A typical heart has two upper and two lower chambers, and in a resting adult, it beats between 60 and 100 times a minute, circulating between 50 to 100ml of blood with every beat. The heart’s rate and rhythm are regulated by electrical signals travelling along pathways to the left or the right side of the bottom chambers (ventricles) of the heart.
When the heart beats irregularly – also known as arrhythmia – the causes are often blockages or other interferences with these electrical pulses and pathways.
Known as cardiologists, doctors who diagnose and treat heart health train, study and qualify as specialists in this specific field of medicine.
Taking it one step further, electrophysiologists – or cardiac electrophysiologists – specialise in a sub-branch of cardiology, and focus on the diagnosis and treatment of the “electrical systems” of the heart.
A general practitioner, physician, or cardiologist may refer a patient to an electrophysiologist if a patient:
• Has an abnormal heart rhythm – too slow, fast or fluttery.
• Is undergoing or being considered for cardiac ablation.
• Experiences a sudden loss of consciousness.
• Has a risk of sudden cardiac death.
• Is undergoing heart surgery.
• Might benefit from a pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD).
Busamed Gateway Private Hospital is fortunate to host two cardiologists who specialise in electrophysiology. Both Dr Haroon Mia and Dr Brian Vezi studied at the Ottawa Heart Institute in Canada, where they completed a two-year specialisation in electrophysiology.
These super-specialists diagnose disorders of the heart’s electrical impulses and how they function. Tests can take between one to four hours and are conducted in the doctors’ specialised laboratories adjacent to their consulting rooms.
“Innovative technology allows electrophysiologists to treat arrhythmias using minimally invasive techniques, thereby improving a patient’s quality of life,” confirms Dr Haroon Mia.