Three years ago, Donna Hensel felt her heart racing so hard that she thought it was going to pop out of her chest. Her chin was numb and her arm was sore.
She went to the emergency department at Rush Copley Healthcare Center in Yorkville and was taken to Rush Copley Medical Center. There she was given a nuclear stress test to detect any poor blood flow or heart damage. She was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
Managing atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation, also called Afib, is an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots in the heart. It increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications so it is important to manage.
Donna was referred to Edward Lipman, MD, an electrophysiologist at Rush Copley. He first tried medication to manage Donna’s irregular heart rhythm.
“It helped,” Donna says, “but my heart still beat faster than it should.”
So Lipman helped her find a better solution. As they discussed options, Donna says, “Dr. Lipman was thorough and answered every question I had.”
Finding the best solution
Lipman performed an ablation — a minimally invasive outpatient procedure to create scars on the inside of the heart to interfere with the electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats. It succeeded in helping Donna’s heart maintain a normal heart rhythm.
The procedure had a big impact on her life. Now she says when she comes home from her job at an accounting firm, she can do things around the house or go out for dinner.
“I have more energy now,” she says. “I’m not always tired.”
It also allowed her to stop taking a medication that was causing side effects.
“I’m now doing well,” Donna says. “Dr. Lipman helped me choose what was right for me.”