ARRESTING A-FIB Multispecialty Cardio Trio Offers Lifesaving Treatment for Irregular Heartbeat By Andy Buchanan ichael Patoff ’s severe shortness of breath came on fast and furious last summer. His allergist’s ﬁ rst hunch was that it might be related to Patoff ’s ongoing asthma or an inﬂ amed lung. But the symptoms seemed far more intense, and the rapid onset left him barely able to walk a few feet without having to stop and rest. EXPERT DIAGNOSIS As the condition worsened—even on medication—the 66-year-old from Glenview did not waste any time contacting his NorthShore Internist Jonathan Brown, MD. “Dr. Brown took one look at me and said, ‘I think you’re in big trouble,’” Patoff recalled. “He sent me to the Emergency Department at Glenbrook Hospital. If Dr. Brown hadn’t caught it, I wouldn’t be alive today. I would be on the other side of the lawn.” Once stabilized, experts at NorthShore Cardiovascular Institute properly diagnosed Patoff with acute heart failure and an abnormal heartbeat due to atrial ﬁ brillation—or A-ﬁ b—a serious rapid, irregular ﬂ uttering rhythm within the chambers of the heart. What turned it around, Patoff said, was the quick response and innovative treatment plan from a “phenomenal team at NorthShore.” His cardiac care team included heart failure expert and Cardiologist Robert Gordon, MD; Electrophysiologist Mark Metzl, MD; and Cardiac Surgeon Hyde Russell, MD. “This team is unbelievable. I call them the dynamic trio,” Patoff added. “They saved my life!” LEADING-EDGE INTERVENTION Dr. Gordon, who holds an academic title at the Pritzker School of Medicine, initially worked to ease Patoff ’s symptoms, including the labored breathing, by prescribing medication to help address ﬂ uid buildup that was taxing his overall heart function. Meanwhile, Drs. Metzl and Russell were preparing for a novel hybrid procedure to treat Patoff ’s A-ﬁ b through a combination of electrophysiology—adjusting the heart’s intricate electrical system—and minimally invasive surgery. continued on page 14 ★ 12 CONNECTIONS FALL 2017 FREE SEMINAR Learn about NorthShore’s latest treatment options for A-ﬁ b, assessing stroke risk and more at this community event Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to noon, at Evanston Hospital’s Frank Auditorium. Free Parking. Register at northshore.org/r21 .