Methodist University Hospital

Patients who lived with the limitations in their lives caused by heart arrhythmias now have a new option.

Doctors at Arrhythmia Consultants, a practice housed at Methodist University Hospital are utilizing 3-D heart mapping to find the source of arrhythmias in patients and performing procedures to either burn or freeze that section of the heart with strong results.

Drs. Shu Levine and James Porterfield, Arrhythmia Consultants, along with Chris Cordova, of Biosense Webster, take a closer look at a patient’s heart with 3-D mapping at Methodist University Hospital.
Drs. Shu Levine and James Porterfield, Arrhythmia Consultants, along with Chris Cordova,… more

Arrhythmias or abnormal heartbeats can impact the lives of patients in a variety of ways ranging from limiting the activity level of patients to causing cardiac arrest and death. The previous treatment for the condition involved implanting a pacemaker or a defibrillator.

“It’s gone off 6 to 8 times since I got it put in,” said Sammy Teague, a patient who recently had his heart mapped by Arrhythmia Consultants. “It will save your life, but when it goes off, it’ll knock you off your feet and it takes a while to recover.”

Shu Levine, an electrophysiologist for Arrhythmia Consultants and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, said the technology also eliminates the need for open heart surgery since it can be performed by traveling through an artery or vein in the leg.

“The technology gets better and better every year,” Levine said. “We can do a minimally invasive approach, map it and fix it in the same procedure. They can go home that day or the next day.”

Teague, who had a heart attack 18 years ago which created scar tissue in his heart, developed an irregular heartbeat from scar tissue caused by that heart attack. He no longer gets dizzy when he stands up and can get along easier after his procedure.

Levine said he has performed the procedure on 20 patients since arriving at Methodist. And while the condition is more common as patients with previous heart issues age, he’s seen patients as young as 15 years old.

“This is an area of medicine where we can really help people who have suffered from this for years,” Levine said. “We understand a lot more about this field than we did 20 years ago and we have a hospital system that’s invested the money in the technology.”

Allan and Hoshall






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