Cardiologist Dr. Niraj Sharma talks about the new cardiac electrophysiology labs at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville Friday. Sharma who serves as the director of cardiac electrophysiology will over see the treatment of patients with electric abnormalities in the heart. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
LAWRENCEVILLE — Two new laboratories at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville will round out the cardiac services offered by the facility’s Strickland Heart Center.
The two labs, EP Lab A and EP Lab B, are both equipped with state-of-the-art technology for electrophysiology, which is the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias, or problems related to the heart’s rhythm.
The EP labs, which constitute multi-million-dollar investments, complement the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab and expand the cardiac treatment options.
“What happens in the cardiac catheterization laboratory is they look for blockages in coronary arteries, so what they do is they inject dye and look for blockages and then with a cardiac cath and a stent they can open (the blockage) up,” said Dr. Niraj Sharma, a Gwinnett Medical Center cardiologist and medical director of electrophysiology. “That’s more like the plumbing of the heart. What we do in electrophysiology we look at the electrical system of the heart, so electrical abnormalities.”
Jayne Culp, director of cardiology, said the EP labs make GMC’s cardiac program comprehensive. The labs are scheduled to handle the first patient cases starting this week.
“We had the plumbing with the cath lab, now we have the electrical and we can complete our circle of care for the heart,” she said. “I think it’s an outstanding addition for us.”
Prior to the development of these labs, most Gwinnett patients were going to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment for heart rhythm issues.
“Now with this lab, our patients can stay here and get the complete care they need,” Sharma said standing in EP Lab B, where he pointed out several pieces of advanced equipment. “The intent of the lab is to take care of our patients from Gwinnett County. Now our patient population has the opportunity to get their procedures done here. I think this is a great development for our county.”
Tour of GMC's Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab
Cardiologist Dr. Niraj Sharma of Gwinnett Medical Center talks about their new cardiac electrophysiology labs.