Dr. Jeff Williams's discussion forum for heart rhythm disorders, biotechnology, pacemakers, and defibrillators.
Author: Heart Rhythm Center
Dr. Williams obtained his undergraduate degree with a double major in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He was then awarded a Keck Fellowship for graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh where he obtained his Master’s degree in Bioengineering.
Dr. Williams went on to obtain his medical degree at Drexel University in Philadelphia and completed 5 years of Fellowship training in both Cardiovascular Diseases and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
His unique background and extensive knowledge of both engineering and cardiology have earned Dr. Williams many accolades in both clinical and academic settings. He’s published over 20 manuscripts and abstracts in the field of cardiology/electrophysiology and has received awards from both the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Williams started in the Invasive Electrophysiology Laboratory at The Good Samaritan Hospital in 2008 and, in the last three years, the Heart Rhythm Center has published outcomes on pacemaker and defibrillator implantations as well as the safety and efficacy of high frequency jet ventilation during EP studies with ablation under his direction.
This is the ninth podcast in the What are Palpitations? series and it focuses on the preparations necessary before proceeding with an electrophysiology study including elements of the preoperative workup. We will discuss the electrophysiology laboratory where the procedure is performed and steps involved in performing the procedure. We’ll talk about what happens if your doctor cannot find or ablate the arrhythmia as well as postoperative care. Finally, we will discuss advanced treatment options for atrial fibrillation. A brief outline includes:
Preoperative risk assessment
Use of contrast agents during EP studies or ablations
Registration and check-in
The procedure room
The EP study
How does the doctor place catheters inside the heart?
What happens if my doctor cannot successfully find an arrhythmia?
What happens if my doctor cannot successfully ablate the arrhythmia?
Immediately after the EP study
Day after the EP study
Advanced treatment options for atrial fibrillation
Please check back with the Heart Rhythm Center for future podcasts:
Possible Complications of Electrophysiology Studies and Ablations
Postoperative Care after an EP Study (and possible ablation)
Psychosocial Impact of Arrhythmias
What is a Defibrillator? Cardiologist’s Guide for Patients and Care Providers can be used as a Shared Decision Making (SDM) tool as mandated by Medicare’s recent Decision Memo for Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/nca-decision-memo.aspx?NCAId=288). The Medicare memo states the “a SDM encounter prior to initial ICD implantation is a critical step in empowering patient choice in their treatment plan. While ICDs have remained a common treatment option for many years, the strength of evidence for an ICD benefit is different for different patient populations.” This SDM encounter mandates an evidence-based decision tool that discusses more than just the risk and benefits of defibrillator implantation. What is a Defibrillator? is a 216-page, evidence-based SDM tool that addresses all aspects of how defibrillators work and the conditions they treat. We discuss how doctors determine whether patients are good candidates for defibrillators and provides an overview of the implantation process. Potential complications both before and after defibrillator implantation are discussed, as is surgical recovery and follow-up treatment. There are extensive discussions on the long-term care and follow-up required including the psychosocial aspects of defibrillator implantation. Particular emphasis is placed upon possible device advisories as well as end-of-life issues including possible deactivation of defibrillators. For readers having difficulty with medical terminology, there is a helpful glossary at the back of the book. Patients, caregivers, and family members involved in the Shared Decision Making process will benefit from the straightforward explanations. If you’re patients are candidates for defibrillator implantation, this book meets the requirements of the SDM decision tool and helps your patients approach surgery with a full understanding of the procedure and what it means to their quality of life. Please message me if your practice or facility is interested in bulk discount pricing as well as customized editions that feature your logo on the cover as well as an introduction from your Heart Rhythm Center director or CEO of health system.
This is the eighth podcast in the What are Palpitations? series and it focuses on the treatment options for arrhythmias. We will be discussing everything from lifestyle modifications that may help reduce arrhythmias as well as medications that are often used in arrhythmia treatment. A brief outline includes:
This is the sixth podcast in the What are Palpitations? series and it focuses on the common ventricular arrhythmias that many patients may experience. We will be discussing premature ventricular contractions (called PVC’s) which are very common and thankfully usually quite harmless. We will also be discussing various types of ventricular tachycardias; many are easily treated though some may require defibrillator therapy. A brief outline includes:
This is the sixth podcast in the What are Palpitations? series and it focuses on atrial fibrillation. We will be discussing the most common arrhythmia seen in clinical practice. The listener will be introduced to the mechanisms, causes of, and treatments for atrial fibrillation. There are extensive explanations about the noninvasive and invasive treatments available for atrial fibrillation. A brief outline includes:
Normal electrical activation versus atrial fibrillation
Signs and symptoms
Causes of atrial fibrillation
Understanding your risk of stroke
Is there a difference between atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation?
This is the fifth podcast in the What are Palpitations? series and it focuses on what are the most common supraventricular (top-chamber) tachycardias (SVT). We will be discussing a variety of the more common SVT seen in clinical practice and clinical scenarios are used to introduce the listener to these types of arrhythmias. A brief outline includes:
Premature atrial contractions
AV-node reentrant tachycardia
AV reentrant tachycardia
Atrial fibrillation (will be discussed in great detail in podcast 6)
This is the fourth podcast in the What are Palpitations? series and it focuses on what to expect during a visit with the heart rhythm specialist. We will be discussing the information we hope to glean from the patient during our initial visit and what may help us determine if one is at risk for heart rhythm disorders. A brief outline includes:
Thousands of patients every year are admitted to hospitals because of irregular, fast, or strong heartbeats. For the portion that will eventually be diagnosed with a heart condition, there are important choices to make moving forward. But there is rarely time in a short doctor’s visit to go over all the details.
The Heart Rhythm Center’s podcast What are Palpitations? serves as a comprehensive overview fills that information gap by imparting everything there is to know about abnormal heart rhythms through all stages of care. Dr. Jeffrey L. Williams, MD, MS, FACC, FHRS, CPE, has worked to provide patients with complete information. There are various types of arrhythmias, and the benefits and risks of treatments for each will vary for each individual patient. Patients, as well as their families, need a thorough understanding to make a fully informed decision.
Along with types of treatments, Dr. Williams discusses what is happening on a physiological level and explains the full evaluation process that doctors use. His knowledge, gained over years of study and practice, offers the what, why, and how of this medical issue, so anyone can make the best decisions for the health of his or her family.