Find Out How Bruce Sillett Got His Heart Back in Rhythm
After living with an irregular heartbeat for nearly eight years, Bruce Sillett, 69, was ready for a change. “I couldn’t walk across the room without sitting, and I would almost pass out when I bent down to tie my shoe,” he recalls. “When Dr. [Gaurang] Gandhi said I needed to have a new procedure, I was willing to try anything.”
The new procedure is a cryoballoon ablation technique, a minimally invasive procedure that precisely freezes small areas of the heart thought to cause the irregular heartbeats of atrial fibrillation.
Bruce’s heart already has withstood a five-way bypass, as well as an ablation on the right side to try to stop the rapid, irregular rhythm. The ablation did not work, nor were medications effective in restoring his heart to a normal rhythm.
Bruce said he felt a little apprehensive being Dr. Gandhi’s first cryoballoon patient, “but I wanted to get rid of that breathless feeling. It’s a simple procedure and does what it’s supposed to do. I didn’t feel any pain.” He experienced immediate improvement, and says, “It felt great to take a deep breath.”
Since the procedure, he has had a few minor episodes of irregular heartbeats. Dr. Gandhi assures him that these should diminish with time. Overall, he has much more energy. “I’m getting out to work in the yard and taking my pup for walks each day. We can’t keep up with my wife, but we take it easy on each other,” he says with humor.
At night, he is sleeping better and able to lie down again. Formerly, he had to sleep partially sitting in a recliner. “I put all my trust in my cardiologists. If not for those guys, I wouldn’t be around today. They found out what was wrong and took care of it. Things are going a whole lot better now.”
Last Updated: December 23, 2014