Doctors & patients are saying about ''...

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Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Atrial Fibrillation and PVCs, How Do They Compare?

An reader sent me an email asking about the difference between Atrial Fibrillation and PVCs. To start, PVC stands for Premature Ventricular Contraction.

What is a PVC?…

A Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC) is like an extra beat or a missed beat that comes from the lower part of your heart, the ventricles. Not to worry. We all get them occasionally.

EKG showing a PVC spike; (source: Wikipedia)

EKG showing a PVC spike; (source: Wikipedia)

Surprisingly, PVCs can be a forecaster of A-Fib. In fact, PVCs can precede an episode or predict who will develop A-Fib.

…Compared to Atrial Fibrillation?

During A-Fib, the upper part of the heart, the atria, go crazy and start beating out of sync which causes the ventricles (the lower part) to beat irregularly.

(A-Fib is usually much more disturbing than an occasional PVC missed or early beat.)

However, if you have a lot of PVCs, they can be just as disturbing as A-Fib.

When are PVCs Dangerous?

If you experience 5+ PVCs per minute or 10-̵30 per hour, you probably should see your Electrophysiologist (EP).

To read how one patient dealt with his PVCs, see John Thorton’s story, PVC-Free After Successful Ablation at Mayo Clinic.

In particular, PVCs can be dangerous if they amount to over 20% of your heart beats. This can weaken your heart muscle. The Mayo Clinic calls them “high density PVCs”.

Can Life-Threatening PVCs be Treated?

Yes, one treatment for excessive PVCs is a PVC ablation. During this ablation the PVCs are mapped and isolated in much the same way A-Fib signals are isolated during an A-Fib ablation.

If you are looking into an ablation for your PVCs, know that not as many EPs perform PVC ablation compared to A-Fib. (Ask your EP for referrals.)

For more about A-Fib with PVCs see, FAQs Coping with A-Fib: PVCs & PACs.

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