Health Team

New Procedure Could Help Heart Patients

Posted February 13, 2008

— A Moore County doctor has created a new procedure that could help 5 million Americans who have a serious heart condition that could lead to stroke or heart failure.

Dr. Andy Kiser of First Health Moore Regional helped develop the procedure and has been training surgeons worldwide.

One of his patients is Jon Woods, 65, who noticed that he was getting unusually tired. He attributed his shortness of breath to smoking and being overweight, he said.

After seeing a doctor, tests showed that Woods had atrial fibrillation.

“The non-medical description would be that the upper two chambers of the heart don't beat. They really just sort of mush around,” Woods said.

“The biggest worry we have is a stroke,” Kiser said. “As the blood doesn't empty, it becomes stagnant. It doesn't move. It can form a clot.”

When medication or a catheter procedure didn’t work, the last option was open-heart surgery, Kiser said.

“(They) crack the chest, stop the heart, hook you up to the heart-lung machine, cut the heart (and) sew it back together. (It) didn't sound very appealing,” Woods said.

Kiser, however, helped develop an open-heart technique that uses a special ablation coil to create scars around the beating heart. The scars redirect electrical current and restore normal heart rhythm.

“We can now treat those people without having to open their chest or even stop their heart,” he said.

Kiser can do the procedure through a few small incisions.

Most patients, like Jon Woods, go into normal rhythm during the procedure.

“I haven't felt this good in I don't know how long – a long, long, long time,” Woods said.

Many people can manage their condition with medication or other options, but some people go years without controlling the problem. They often stop short of open-heart surgery because of the risks.

With a simpler procedure and a shorter hospital stay, though, many more people might be willing to face surgery and get help.


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  • drnc Feb 14, 2008

    I'd like to see a "fat" tax. I'm really tired of paying for bypass surgery on the obese. Also more tax on cigarettes, beer and liquor. If a person is on Medicaid and they have a car registered in their name, they should have to pay for part of their medical care.

  • claudnc Feb 14, 2008

    If we are increasing the quality of life along with longevity thats a good thing. Whatelseis new - if this were some type of creature - dog, cat etc I would agree with you... But for humans I am all for it... I am all for increasing the quality of life. Plus, the guy said he had not felt that good in such a long, long, long time...his quality of life has improved.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 14, 2008


    Hey I am just trying to help out with future taxpayer burden. I will be sucking money out of those systems in the near future. Now do you really want me hanging around for twenty or thirty years while you pay for my benefits? I have to say wardofthestate has a great idea with that ice floe thing; it sounds very soothing and peaceful.

  • ratherbnnc Feb 14, 2008

    I don't like this; we have to stop increasing the longevity of Americans. Social Security and Medicaid will go bankrupt if we don't stop this now.

    What in the h*** is your problem! I think its great and sure beats open heart surgery. My Dad had two heart attacks and two bypasses so im sure he would prefer this.

  • WardofTheState Feb 14, 2008

    Lol @ whatelse is new...

    What do you recommend - lead folks to the ice floe and wave bye-bye?

  • Panther Feb 14, 2008

    Moore Regional has some of the best doctors in the state. This new procedure by Dr. Kiser sounds like it will have a positive effect for many for years to come. Its nice to know that this guy is local.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 14, 2008

    I don't like this; we have to stop increasing the longevity of Americans. Social Security and Medicaid will go bankrupt if we don't stop this now.