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'It's like Marco Polo': New heart scan technology helps treat irregular heartbeats

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center is the first hospital in the Piedmont Triad with the technology. It takes some guesswork out of heart ablations.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — There’s a new way to track and treat irregular heartbeats and patients who need heart ablations. 

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center is the first hospital in the Piedmont Triad with a new high-tech tool called "The CardioInsight Non-Invasive 3D Mapping System."

Patients wear a vest with around 250 leads on it, allowing doctors to quickly track and trace where the irregular heart rhythms are coming from, specifically which heart chambers.

“This technology removes a lot of the guesswork, so I don't have to spend as much time trying to probe the entire chambers of the heart,” said Dr. Lai Chow Kok, an Electrophysiology at Novant Health.

In addition to taking out guess work, it also cuts down on the actual procedure time.

“Because I've done a lot of prep work up front, knowing with this technology exactly where it is coming from, when he (the patient) enters the procedure room, I can plan with a very targeted focus,” said Dr. Kok.

Thinking about it in even simpler terms, Dr. Kok said the technology is similar to playing a summer-time classic.

“It's kind of like a game you play in a pool, Marco Polo. This is a much more sophisticated way to figure out the source of where the extra rhythm is coming from,” said Dr. Kok.

Richard Schock has always had an irregular heartbeat but last summer he started feeling the effects on a daily basis, especially while working on his farm.

“On those bad days you can sleep all night and sleep half the day,” said Schock.

He previously was on medication that fixed about 80% of the problem, but his doctor said after this procedure, it would feel more like 100%.

As for the new technology, Schock was grateful it took out some of the exploration previous procedures may have required.

“You've got 4 chambers and they had to go through all 4 and look at everything and to cut it down to small areas, I think it is really great,” said Schock.

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