Close Menu

TCAI physician J. David Burkhardt, MD, FACC, loves a good challenge.

Which is how he has come to be known as the Western Hemisphere’s “go-to” electro-physiologist for Ventricular Tachycardia ablation (say that three times fast!).

Ventricular Tachycardia [VT] is an abnormally fast heartbeat originating in the lower chambers, or ventricles, of the heart. VT is a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia because it can lead to ventricular fibrillation, which – as our previous blog post explained – can cause sudden cardiac arrest and death.

So for VT patients, treatment is necessary, and might consist of antiarrhythmic medications or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator [ICD] – an internal “shocking” device. And, as technology advances, VT ablation is becoming a less risky, more effective treatment option.

Cardiac ablation is a non-surgical procedure in which the doctor eliminates electrical “misfirings” in the heart by creating scar tissue to break the heart’s “short circuit” and restore a regular rhythm.

TCAI hosts a state-of-the-art system for remote magnetic navigation – considered the best method for performing VT ablation. This technology manipulates a magnetic field around the patient in order to guide catheters with magnetic tips to the heart’s “problem spots.” The physician maneuvers the catheters remotely via touchscreens and a joystick. This system’s delicate precision lets the doctor deftly map the troubled area without inducing abnormal ventricular rhythms – enhancing safety and positive outcomes for patients.

Dr. Burkhardt is TCAI’s resident VT ablation specialist. He has been performing the procedure for about a decade, treating more than 150 complex VT cases last year alone. He is a master at magnetic navigation, demonstrating the technology and training other doctors worldwide how to use it successfully. Additionally, TCAI is one of very few centers with the technology and expertise to do both endocardial [the interior of the heart] and epicardial [the heart’s exterior] ablation – an intricate and life-saving procedure for some VT patients.

“I often see patients who have been told they have no other option, no other hope,” says Dr. Burkhardt. “Nothing is more rewarding than when I’m able to make them feel better.”
~ Jamie LaRue, RN

Receive email notifications for new posts.