Leading-edge electrophysiology expertise provided in a state-of-the-art facility using the latest technologies is another way the Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital distinguishes itself from other cardiac care programs. Bridgeport Hospital’s electrophysiology services are coordinated through the Connecticut Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, where Fairfield County’s most experienced team provides a full spectrum of treatments for patients with heart rhythm disorders.

Services and procedures include:

  • Non-invasive diagnostic procedures, including 24-hour electrocardiogram (ECG) recorders
  • Portable ECG recorders to use at home
  • Tilt table tests to study fainting, dizziness and blood pressure control
  • Implanted defibrillators and pacemakers to protect those at risk
  • Minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation therapy
  • Electrical cardioversion
  • Medication therapy
  • Surgical ablation and Mini-Maze (a minimally invasive surgical option)
  • Hybrid ablation (catheter and surgery) for atrial fibrillation

Specialized Care for Atrial Fibrillation

The Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital was first in New England to offer hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation (a-fib), which is the most common heart rhythm disorder. Sufferers experience chest palpitations, fatigue, dizziness and trouble breathing.

Treating A-Fib with Ablation Procedures

To treat a-fib, physicians create scar tissue in and around the heart to block faulty electrical signals from reaching the muscle and causing it to contract erratically. This process is known as ablation.

Traditional ablation methods include catheter ablation, minimally invasive surgery or open-heart surgery. Until now, these non-surgical and surgical approaches have been performed separately, with each having its own distinct benefits, limitations and risks.

Hybrid ablation is a combination of the catheter and surgical approaches, designed to maximize the advantages of each and minimize their risks.

During hybrid ablation, the cardiac surgeon creates scar tissue on the outside of the heart, while the partnering physician, a cardiologist with expertise in electrophysiology, creates scar tissue on the inside of the heart. Working side-by-side, they perform a single, significantly less traumatic, but more thorough minimally invasive procedure. In hybrid ablation, there is no need to open the chest. In fact, only three small incisions are needed, so patient discomfort is greatly reduced and recovery is faster.

Cardiac/Electrophysiology Facilities

Our cardiac/electrophysiology facilities include:

  • Electrophysiology laboratory
  • Three new state-of-the-art procedural/catheterization laboratories, one dedicated to electrophysiology
  • 16-bed Medical/Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
  • 28-bed Cardiac Telemetry Unit
  • 11-bed Angioplasty Suite for same-day and one-night stays