I hope the New Year finds you well. In this issue of The Beat, we reflect on some of our accomplishments of the past year and look forward with much anticipation to what lies ahead.
We have much to celebrate at VCU Pauley Heart Center. I’m especially excited about “EP3,” our new electrophysiology/cath lab that opened in September. The lab’s extraordinary 3D rotational imaging system offers improved visualization and enhanced roadmapping, which enables us to better plan our procedures. EP3 will be the first of seven new, state-of-the-art GE labs that we will continue to roll out this year and in 2015. The labs will provide greater support for the increasingly complex treatments offered by our electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization, and structural heart disease programs.
Our cover story this month concerns atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac arrhythmia that is a leading cause of stroke. It is a great joy to help patients overcome the limitations of this often unpredictable disease through medication management and procedures such as catheter ablation, cryoballoon ablation, and rotor mapping. We have been offering innovative approaches for reducing stroke risk in this group of patients now for one year and will be expanding that with new devices. Working collaboratively with our cardiothoracic surgeons, we can also offer our afib patients a full range of surgical options.
Research remains a critical part of our mission at VCU Pauley Heart Center. In this issue, you will learn about a new catheter therapy that Dr. George Vetrovec is exploring for patients with severe hypertension, whose condition has been resistant to prior treatment.
I hope that as you read this issue of The Beat, you will be drawn into the stories of our clinicians, our researchers, and our donors, who are making a difference in the lives of our patients. Finally, as this New Year begins, we have initiated a search for a Scientific Director of The Pauley Heart Center. We are looking forward to finding the person who can appreciate the amazing work that is going on here, and join our clinicians and staff as we climb to even greater heights.
Thank you for all you do to support the VCU Pauley Heart Center.
Kenneth A. Ellenbogen, MD
Chairman, Division of Cardiology