Why Choose a Doctor Who Understands the Significance of Rotors?
After posting my article, Rotors! Rotors! Rotors! Good News for Patients with Persistent A-Fib (2016 AF Symposium), I was surprised when Patti said we didn’t have the term ‘rotors’ in our Glossary of A-Fib Terms. So we just added it:
Rotors: underlying drivers that sustain or propagate an A-Fib signal after it has been triggered (like an echo). Elimination of rotors by catheter ablation improves long-term freedom from A-Fib.
Why You Want a Doctor Who Understands the Significance of Rotors
The ability to diagnose rotors enables a more patient-specific treatment approach by focusing on just a few critical areas in each individual patient’s heart and results in fewer lesions (ablation scars).
Stay away from EPs who ablate only the pulmonary veins (PV).
This is important. You should stay away from EPs who ablate only the pulmonary veins (PV) and don’t check for non-PV triggers like rotors and focal points. That is a one-size-fits-all approach. (See my editorial: Huge Growth in Number of EPs Doing Catheter Ablations, But All EPs Are Not Equal)
A more reasonable approach tailors treatment to each individual’s specific physiology. This requires a more experienced EP and precise location identification using advanced mapping techniques (such as the FIRM Mapping and Ablation System by Topera/Abbott Laboratories or the ECGI/ECVUE system by CardioInsight Technologies/Medtronic).
What This Means to Patients
You want an experienced doctor (EP) who understands the significance of ‘rotors’; who will use advanced mapping techniques, when needed, to search for and isolate non-PV triggers.
You must do your due diligence to find the right EP. I know it’s a lot of effort. Don’t settle for an EP because their office is nearby. Be prepared to travel if that’s what it takes.
Remember: You must be your own best patient advocate.
How to Select Your Doctor
To learn more about how to select the right doctor for you and your treatment goals, see my article: Finding the Right Doctor for You and Your A-Fib.