At 18 years of age, South Florida native Aaron got very sick and was hospitalized. Afterward, he developed an irregular heartbeat. In his case, it took time to get an accurate diagnosis. At first, medical opinions varied, and doctors thought he might have had a minor stroke or even a hole in his heart.
In 2016, he began seeing Ahmed F. Osman, M.D., who serves as the medical director of the cardiac electrophysiology lab at Broward Health Medical Center. Dr. Osman diagnosed Aaron with a common type of irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia known as premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs.
Aaron took medications to control his PVCs and, like other people with heart conditions, was encouraged to watch his caffeine intake and avoid tobacco. While he sometimes felt palpitations, he didn’t let that stop him from participating in college sports.
“I would always fail the physical, and Dr. Osman would have to provide a note explaining that my irregular heartbeat was regular for me,” Aaron said.
He went on to play professional baseball for several years with the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs.
While he was able to be active, his heart needed monitoring. Every year, he wore a heart monitor and underwent evaluation so Dr. Osman could make sure his heart condition did not progress.
At his last yearly checkup, Dr. Osman suggested Aaron consider undergoing a cardiac ablation procedure performed using an advanced new technology, the Genesis Robotic Magnetic Navigation System by Stereotaxis. Broward Health Medical Center was the first hospital in Florida with this system and the fifth in the nation.
“As Aaron remained quite symptomatic, and his condition could negatively affect his cardiac performance, a curative approach would be ideal,” Dr. Osman said. “Given the location of his frequent premature contractions, our recently acquired magnetic navigation system would enable a precise and highly successful cure with ablation.”
In cardiac ablation procedures, areas of the heart are intentionally scarred to block or break up electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats.
The new robotic magnetic navigation system utilizes magnetic fields to guide the catheter, allowing the doctor to access and treat complex and hard-to-reach areas with the heart.
“When Dr. Osman told me about the new technology, I was excited and a little nervous,” Aaron said. “But the doctor and the staff were great. I would never have imagined the turnaround I experienced.”
Aaron, who is currently pursuing a law degree at St. Thomas University, says he was in the hospital overnight and discharged the day after his procedure. He appreciated the caring treatment he received from Dr. Osman, his nurses and the entire staff.
Currently, he is showing no signs of arrhythmia and feels great.
“I didn’t really realize how my PVCs affected how I felt until they went away,” Aaron said. “But where my heart used to feel like a diesel, it now feels like a Tesla.”