Dr. Amit Noheria is a Washington University cardiac electrophysiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital specializing in heart rhythm disorders.
My philosophy about patient care is that the needs of the patient come foremost and are the most important so I want to always keep the needs of the patient at the center of my thoughts. There’s lots of things we can offer patients but that doesn’t mean that any particular procedure, any particular device, any particular treatment, any particular drug, is the right drug for the right patient. We have to treat patients with respect, we have to treat patients with empathy but also have to always make sure that we are doing what is in their best interest.
I do all clinical and research things related to cardiovascular electrophysiology. I am mostly interested in catheter based procedures as well as medical treatment of arrhythmias, that are heart rhythm problems in patients, that falls within heart disease. Catheter based procedures could include things like catheter ablation procedures to map and treat ablate arrhythmias. Medical treatment obviously includes medications and taking care of patients in the hospital as well as in the outpatient setting. The other big part of my clinical practice involves using or implanting devices. So device based therapies, for example, pacemakers, defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices for patients with heart failure and so forth. Another part of my practice is treating patients who are at risk of cardioembolic strokes or blood clot related strokes generating from blood clots in the heart. That can happen in patients with conditions like atrial fibrillation. We have various techniques and tools to treat these including using blood thinners as a catheter based procedures to ligate off the electrical appendage, which is the source of these blood clots that can be removed from circulation using catheter techniques.
The favorite thing is the feeling you get, the satisfaction you get, by getting a patient through maybe a procedure or even medical treatment and getting them to deal with their heart rhythm disorder. Doing procedures is very gratifying, especially in cardiovascular electrophysiology, because you can make a difference in somebody who is beset with arrhythmia issues then these can be young patients, old patients, patients who have other structural heart disease, heart failure, or born with congenital heart disease or people with otherwise a completely normal heart and they have palpitations, they might be light-headed, they have these episodes where they’re not feeling very well, maybe feeling fatigued and tired, bad quality of life and you do a procedure and cure them of their arrhythmia and suddenly, they have a new life. So that’s very gratifying.
What I’ve heard from some of the patients who have been very gracious in their appraise, what they’ve appreciated is that I’ve explained to them, some of the patients who’ve had multiple procedures and have been in various offices and various hospitals, they come back and say “wow, you are the first one who really explained it to me. You really broke it down for us as a family, for me as a patient and now I really understand what’s going on and how this procedure or this medicine, how that’s really going to take care of the situation for me.