A Race with Your Heart

A heart rate that takes a while to get back to normal after exercise should be monitored.

BAY SHORE, NY – Jeannette Kurek, 27, had experienced heart palpitations for much of her life. She began to think it was normal to have your heart racing for a while after exercising. But after a cardiologist did a stress test and her heart rate took a long time to come back down to a steadier rate, she sought the care of Erik Altman, MD, chief of electrophysiology of cardiology at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

“It would take 15 to 20 minutes for my heart rate to go back to normal,” Jeannette said.

Despite this persistently fast heart rate, Jeannette was a marathon runner; she would just get short of breath and pass out. Dr. Altman diagnosed Jeannette with an electrical irregularity commonly referred to as arrhythmia. In Jeannette's case, an extra electrical pathway was treated with a freezing catheter to destroy the tissue so that it was left inactive. This is a new procedure  provides cure and should leave her arrhythmia free for the rest of her life. The expertise in using freezing for this arrhythmia is only offered by a limited number of centers; Southside Hospital was the only Long Island center selected for the pivotal trial. 

Jeannette went home from Southside Hospital the next day and has not had any fast heartbeats since then. She has gotten back into exercising and had no issues recently completing a seven and a half mile walk in Manhattan.

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