“I was in the kitchen going about my daily chores when out of nowhere my heart rate went through the roof,” recalls
Jennifer Roynan, 49, of Skippack, Pennsylvania. Within two minutes, she felt fine, until it happened again a few months
“In November 2019, my husband and I celebrated our 25
th wedding anniversary in Europe. The trip was amazing, but my heart raced a couple of times. I wasn’t stressed or
upset and my symptoms did not seem to be exercise related,” says Jennifer, who works out regularly.
Time for Action
For Christmas, Jennifer asked for an Apple Watch to track her heart rate. By January 2020, she was hitting 200 beats per
minute up to four times a week. “I started getting nervous,” says Jennifer. Unfortunately, when she called the large health
system where she received her care, there was a six-month wait to see a cardiologist.
At the suggestion of a friend, Jennifer called Doylestown Health.
Easing Jennifer’s Mind
The receptionist at Doylestown Health Cardiology fit Jennifer in for an appointment with board-certified cardiologist
Renee Sangrigoli, MD. “The receptionist really
listened to my concerns,” says Jennifer, “And, Dr. Renee was fantastic! She asked questions, went over lots of information
and put me at ease.” After wearing a cardiac monitor at home for two weeks, Jennifer returned to Doylestown Hospital for a
scheduled ultrasound. “The woman who performed the study was amazing! Everyone was so nice.”
Determining that Jennifer had a problem with the electrical impulses that regulate the heartbeat, Dr. Renee referred her to
an electrophysiologist, a cardiologist who specializes in heart rhythm disorders.
High-Level Heart Care
Electrophysiology Service is a leader in state-of-the-art clinical care and groundbreaking
research. A high-volume center in the treatment of arrhythmias (abnormal heart beats), Doylestown Health’s success rates are
comparable to the top centers in the United States.
Within two days, Jennifer was sitting in front of Doylestown Health electrophysiologist
Robert Sangrigoli, MD, who is also Dr.
“Dr. Rob explained that I could manage my condition with medication, but eventually, I’d probably need to have my heart
repaired,” says Jennifer. Opting to have surgery sooner, she scheduled for April 2020, but elective procedures were halted
due to COVID-19, so she rescheduled for October 15.
The Science Behind the Surgery
Radiofrequency ablation is a catheter-based therapy used to apply heat energy to eliminate cells that cause abnormal
heartbeats. This minimally invasive procedure is guided by advanced, high-density grid mapping technology.
A GPS for the Heart
“Mapping enables us to safely and effectively pinpoint short circuits and abnormal heartbeats by displaying
high-definition, color-coded, 3-D information similar to a GPS road map. This leads to shorter procedure times and more precise
ablation of cardiac tissue,” says Dr. Rob.
How it works:
- Through tiny incisions, the electrophysiologist guides a thin, diagnostic catheter through a groin artery up to the
- The catheter emits impulses causing the heart to beat faster and slower.
- The electrical activity is recorded and mapped to pinpoint the source of the abnormal rhythm.
With mapping, Dr. Rob and his colleague, electrophysiologist John Harding, MD, discovered an extra electrical connection
known as a bypass tract between the heart’s upper and lower chambers, which was causing Jennifer’s rapid heartbeats — a
condition known as supraventricular tachycardia.
Navigating the ablation catheter to Jennifer’s heart, Dr. Rob eliminated the extra connection using heat energy, restoring
a normal beat and preventing future episodes.
Advanced Healing with a Personal Touch
Thanks to adjustments made after Jennifer told the anesthesiologist about her history of nausea, she woke from her procedure
with a clear mind, “I was not sick at all.”
Reflecting on her experience, Jennifer says she felt safe and comfortable at Doylestown Health from the moment the
receptionist went the extra mile to arrange a timely appointment. Even during a global pandemic, the team remained focused on
what was best for her.
The day after her ablation, Jennifer attended a local high school football game, enjoying fresh air and family with her
heartbeat worries behind her.
About Doylestown Health's Heart & Vascular Services
Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. Doylestown Hospital’s accredited Chest Pain Center is fully prepared to treat cardiac emergencies around the clock, focusing on rapid diagnosis and effective treatment. The multidisciplinary team at the Woodall Center for Heart and Vascular Care is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.