By David Kipkorir
Physicians at Karen Hospital have introduced a new treatment option for patients suffering from heart diseases providing ground-breaking and life-changing management.
The Electrophysiology (EP) technique, conducted by Dr. Daniel Nduiga, a cardiologist and Electrophysiologist and Cardiologist Dr. Dan Gikonyo, is a single procedure to treat and manage symptomatic cases of the heart.
Karen Hospital is one of only a few in the nation to offer this specific procedure to patients.
Dr. Nduiga said the procedure involves placement of a various number of catheters with small electrodes into the heart from the groin (sometimes also neck) veins and at times arteries to several locations within the heart where signals are monitored and recorded.
“The use of special catheters, which employs various forms of energy to ‘burn away’ short circuits or abnormal ‘spots’ within the heart that can be the cause of cardiac arrhythmias,” said the specialist.
This development has brought new hope to patients with severe forms of the disease.
The procedure combines two treatment options – catheter-based care and minimally invasive surgery – into a single procedure, which has resulted in improved quality of life for patients.
Under the new technique, an electrophysiologist and cardiologist work together to ablate the heart to restore its normal rhythm.
Surgeon’s ablations take place outside of the heart, while the electrophysiologist uses a catheter inside of the heart to create scar tissue.
The two ablations block the damaged electrical pathways that are causing the irregular heartbeat.
Since introduction last year, two patients have undergone the procedure at Karen Hospital and have experienced fewer cases of heart failure following the procedure versus other methods.
“The hybrid EP procedure is changing the way we are able to care for people with heart problems,” said Dr. Gikonyo.
He said the team at Karen Hospital continues to lead the field through the transition from surgical-based treatment to catheter-based curative ablation procedures which lowers risk.
“Our team of experts, advanced practitioners, EP laboratory staff, and administrative professionals are at the core of the procedure at our hospital. This skilled group work tirelessly to advance the clinical, academic, and research missions of our treatment programs,” explained Dr. Gikonyo.
Karen Hospital has built expertise in what is still a relatively new area of treatment.
In recent years, physicians have become more experienced in the use of EP technology and, with the technology increasingly gaining acceptance among the profession.
The founder of the hospital Dr. Gikonyo is a cardiologist with over 30 years of experience in the medical field.
He has been instrumental in the mentoring and training of majority of adult cardiologists in the country and in the region.
He is both an interventional and non-invasive adult cardiologist who participates actively in continuing medical education through seminars and workshops organised by diverse stake holders. He also founded the Heart to Heart Foundation.
His work experience includes public sector in Nakuru as well as academic, as a lecturer in the University of Nairobi, prior to taking up full time private practise under the umbrella of the Nairobi Heart Clinic.