Subspecialist Treats Arrhythmia and Other Heart Conditions
Western Yavapai County residents of all ages who suffer from heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) now may receive specialized treatment from Cardiac Electrophysiologist Nisha Tung-Takher, MD, who recently joined Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) PhysicianCare Cardiology.
“Cardiac Electrophysiology is a very specialized area of Cardiology,” said Dr. Tung-Takher. “It’s also very challenging and gratifying. Patients may come to me with heart palpitations, which are frightening and debilitating, and I’m able to diagnose and correct their conditions. This is life-changing for people.”
Dr. Tung-Takher’s move to the community coincides with the recent opening of the state-of-the-art Hybrid Operating Room (OR) located in the James Family Heart Center at YRMC West. The Hybrid OR allows Dr. Tung-Takher to diagnose patients using permanently integrated imaging equipment and then immediately follow this with a therapeutic procedure.
Using 3-D mapping, intracardiac echocardiography and other electrophysiology techniques, Dr. Tung-Takher diagnoses people with a variety of arrhythmias, including:
- Atrial fibrillation—An irregular, often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow.
- Ventricular tachycardia—A very fast heartbeat caused by a malfunction in one of the heart’s ventricles.
- Atrial flutter—An arrhythmia that occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) beat too fast and complicates the heart rhythm.
- Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)-An arrhythmia very commonly diagnosed as anxiety disorder due to rapid heart racing that causes the patient to have symptoms.
- Bradycardia—An abnormally slow heart rate (below 60 beats per minute).
- Sudden cardiac arrest—A condition that causes the heart to suddenly and unexpectedly stop beating.
Following the diagnosis, Dr. Tung-Takher may use a variety of therapies to treat the patient in the Hybrid OR. Those include implanting devices – such as pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy – for heart failure management.
Many arrhythmias also are corrected using a procedure Dr. Tung-Takher conducts in the Hybrid OR called cardiac ablation. She does this by introducing a long, slender, flexible tube (catheter) into a vein through a very tiny incision and threading it to the heart. She then uses either cold (cryoablation) or heat (radiofrequency ablation) to destroy the tissue that generates irregular heartbeats the patient was experiencing.
“There are not many physicians or centers in Phoenix or the country that use both cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation,” Dr. Tung-Takher said.
Dr. Tung-Takher commuted between the Quad Cities and the Phoenix area for more than three years before permanently choosing YRMC.
“Everybody at YRMC, from the administration to the physicians to the nurses to the technicians to the office staff are 100 percent patient oriented,” she said. “They approach everything with the best outcome for the patient in mind.”
Dr. Tung-Takher calls the community an “excellent fit” for her family. She enjoys the many outdoor activities available in the area, including hiking, mountain biking and tennis.
“Most of all, I love the people and my patients,” she said. “When I was commuting between here and Phoenix, I had patients who would offer to open their homes to me so I wouldn’t have to drive back to the Valley after a long day. It was so heartwarming. It’s like a big family here.”
Dr. Tung-Takher pursued a Cardiology fellowship at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Phoenix and an Electrophysiology fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Harbor Medical Center. She had medical residencies at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Dr. Tung-Takher graduated from Government Medical College, Punjabi University in India, where she also completed an internship.
For more information about Dr. Tung-Takher, or to schedule an appointment, call YRMC PhysicianCare Cardiology at (928) 445-6025.