Atrial Fibrillation Discussion at Saint Vincent in Erie

February 7, 2008 6:20 AM CT

Atrial Fibrillation is the most common abnormal heart rhythm and is newly diagnosed in an estimated half a million people every year. The heart specialists at Saint Vincent Health Center have been successful in offering several treatment options for their patients including a new minimally invasive procedure developed over the last several years called the Mini-Maze.

To learn more about how this procedure can help some patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation, the Saint Vincent Cardiac Support Group invited heart survivor, author and speaker, Mellanie True Hills to tell her story about how the mini-maze procedure cured her atrial fibrillation. The public is invited to attend this one hour presentation on Thursday, February 7th at 12:00 pm at the McGarvey Learning Center at Saint Vincent.

After nearly dying in emergency heart surgery, Mellanie True Hills left her corporate executive life to focus not only on her own health but to help others learn more about heart disease and stroke. That was in 2003. Today Mellanie is the founder & CEO of American Foundation for Women’s Health and She is also the author of A Woman’s Guide to Saving Her Own Life.

After two years of trying to live with atrial fibrillation, Mellanie was frustrated by the treatment process which included medications, weekly blood draws and powerful anti-clotting drugs. In addition, Mellanie had an overwhelming fear of the atrial fibrillation episodes which left her dependent on her family and limited her freedom. “I was always in fear of my next episode and that I might be driving or off by myself and have a stroke,” said Mellanie. “My family couldn’t let me out of their sight. We planned our travel to always be near hospitals. Life wasn’t normal as afib took a huge toll on us emotionally, physically and financially.”

 Mellanie’s research led her to information about a minimally-invasive surgery known as “Mini-Maze.” It is a procedure involving small incisions in the chest area, a catheter to reach the pulmonary veins in the heart which can then be cauterized to stop the abnormal heart rhythms. In 2005, Mellanie says this procedure cured her atrial fibrillation and gave her back her freedom. Her mission now is to spread awareness about heart disease, provide a message of hope and encouragement and help others suffering from atrial fibrillation.

Join Mellanie for a discussion about atrial fibrillation and the new innovative treatment, Mini-Maze, at Saint Vincent Health Center. Seating is limited. To reserve your seat call 814.452.7273.