Doctors usually do not like using the word "cure", but with a new 3-d technology they are hard pressed to describe it any other way. A new study shows some healing underway for one of the most common heart disorders in the world.
Sports legend Arnie Ferrin may not be playing ball with the Lakers anymore - but at 80 years of age, he's pretty fit, moving around, free now of arrhythmia's- irregular heart beat that has plagued him for the past ten years.
Ferrin is one among a group who recently participated in a study testing some new technology to stop the short circuits in his heart.
The "cure" rate is impressive - to say the least.
"92% is good, isn't it, particularly for old people," says Arnie Ferrin a study participant.
92 percent! that's the number. Patients who had significant, serious Arrhythmia - became free of their Arrhythmia's within four months after treatment.
"What makes this work well enough to cure patients? 3-d technology."
A catheter is snaked from a small incision in the groin up into the heart. Using this 3-d image which plots out a map like a global positioning satellite, physicians like Dr. John Day can precisely cut out
the exact sources of the short circuits.
"Now with our ability to cure the Arrhythmia, not just suppress the Arrhythmia, but cure the Arrhythmia, in a large proportion of patients, we're starting to do the procedure more and more often," says cardiologist, Peter Weiss.
While some patients remain on some medication, most don't. Arnie Ferrin is taking a minuscule dose of what he used to take. But doctors say he really doesn't need any at all.
"I play golf three days a week and enjoy my life so much better without the fear - the fear of the uncertainty of when you're going into Atrial Fibrillation," says Arnie Ferrin.
Arnie says he'll probably stop taking medication before the summer has ended - making his cure complete.