Comprehensive monitoring, diagnosis & treatment of cardiac
A leader in electrophysiology, Dr. John F. Norris provides the complete range of care, including some advanced techniques not offered elsewhere in Pinellas County. In fact, Pinellas Arrhythmia Associates is the only practice in the Clearwater-St. Pete area currently providing the full array of modern electrophysiology diagnostics, treatments and technologies, which include:
- EKG & signal-averaged "late potentials" EKG
- Holter monitoring & interpretation
- Loop recording & interpretation
- Electrophysiology studies
- T-wave alternans testing
- Tilt-table tests
- Antiarrhythmic drug therapy
- Fillow-up for pacemakers & implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD treatment)
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy (biventricular pacing) to treat or avert heart failure
- Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation
- Hybrid surgical CONVERGENT ablation for longstanding atrial fibrillation
- Catheter ablation procedure for all types of cardiac arrhythmias
The area's leader in state-of-the-art atrial fibrillation treatment
Atrial fibrillation, the most common and complicated cardiac arrhythmia, can be treated successfully with medication in 50% of patients. When medications are ineffective, atrial fibrillation symptoms can be treated with a complex catheter ablation procedure. Dr. John Norris is Pinellas County's most competent and experienced physician with atrial fibrillation ablation, which is about 80% successful and can cureabnormal heart rhythm.
Take advantage of better success in the treatment of the most common atrial fibrillation symptoms
Atrial fibrillation (AF) causes fibrillation, or abnormal heart rhythm, of the muscles of the heart's upper chambers, the left atrium and the right atrium. Abnormal heart beat occurs when these muscles contract irregularly, resulting in tachycardia symptoms. Like other arrhythmias, irregular heartbeat causes are abnormalities in the heart's electrical system.
AF's uncoordinated muscle contractions can decrease the heart's output to the point that it doesn't meet the body's needs. The irregular rhythm can last minutes, weeks or years, often without symptoms. But AF can lead to palpitations, chest pain, fainting and heart failure. It also can allow clots to form, which can travel to the brain. AF is a leading cause of stroke, and people with AF have a risk of stroke up to seven times higher than normal.
Atrial fibrillation is expected to increase significantly. Because AF is age-related, its prevalence – and its effects – will increase along with the average age of our population. In the next 15 to 20 years, the number of people with AF is expected to double, and the costs associated with AF will likely increase even more dramatically.
How is atrial fibrillation treated?
AF is most commonly treated using atrial fibrillation medications, though they are only about 50% effective. However, over the past 15 years, catheter ablation techniques for AF have been developed and now offer an 80% success rate with current techniques. Catheter ablation involves advancing a tiny radiofrequency (RF) catheter to the heart that emits RF energy to destroy the nerve cells responsible for the irregular muscle contractions. While cardiac ablation is also commonly used to treat other types of arrhythmia, it is considerably more complex for the treatment of AF, and few physicians commit the time, energy and resources to learn and perfect the technique.
At Pinellas Arrhythmia Associates, John F. Norris, MD, has made that commitment. As a result, he has become the Clearwater-St. Pete area's most capable and most experienced physician performing this procedure (more than 750 procedures) since introducing it to Pinellas County in 2002.
Dr. Norris has been performing pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) for the treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation for over 10 years. He utilizes the latest ablation techniques, including intracardiac echocardiograpy, 3-D mapping systems, CT image integration, and irrigated-tip radiofrequency energy delivery to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness during the ablation procedure. Patients who have undergone this evolving technique experience an 85% rate of success in eliminating AF without the need for antiarrhythmic drug therapy long-term. The standard PVI ablation requires 2.5 to 3 hours in the EP laboratory and is performed under general anesthesia with a one-day hospital stay.
In 2010, Dr. Norris began working with Dr. Joseph Diliberto, a cardiac surgeon, to pioneer the development of a hybrid surgical procedure (CONVERGENT ablation) for the treatment of more persistent forms of atrial fibrillation. Utilizing a combined epicardial-endocardial technique, Drs. Norris and Diliberto have achieved a 90% success rate in patients who have more advanced AF or have failed ablation at other centers and are not candidates for a stand-alone catheter ablation procedure for AF. The CONVERGENT ablation procedure is performed in the EP laboratory under general anesthesia and requires a two-day hospital stay.
Trust the area's most experienced cardiac electrophysiologist in ablation for atrial fibrillation
To schedule an appointment and/or for more information on our latest innovations and treatment approach to your care, please call our office today at (727) 587-6999 or use our online Request an Appointment form. Our cardiac patients come to us from Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg (St Pete) in Pinellas County, FL.