Personal Attention Made It Easier To Choose Cyroballoon Ablation

Marilyn' Story

For about 40 years, Marilyn Carlson worried that her heart would suddenly start racing, for hours on end.

“I never knew when it was going to come on,” she said. “It felt like my heart was going to jump right out of my chest. I would get exhausted. I couldn’t function, and it got to the point where it would go on 14 or 15 hours.”

Some medications she was prescribed since her early 40s worked for a few years, but the irregular, and sometimes racing, heartbeat returned. The episodes could happen for no apparent reason, but Marilyn found that some triggers could be sleeping on her left side, consuming ca­feine, alcohol or certain foods. Worst of all, it sometimes happened while she played tennis, a sport she thoroughly enjoys. “I had to quit several tournament matches because of it.”

Cryoballon Ablation Patient Marilyn Carlson

Marilyn Carlson

Last year, Marilyn met Dr. Adam Chodosh, an electrophysiologist with Concord Hospital Cardiac Associates. He felt Marilyn was a good candidate for a procedure called cryoaballoon ablation, where the electrical problem causing Marilyn’s irregular heartbeat could be corrected by freezing a tiny section of the heart.

“Dr. Chodosh explained the procedure in three appointments before I agreed,” Marilyn said. “He explains everything so well. He draws pictures. He makes sure you understand. He was very caring, very patient,” and his careful explanations helped put Marilyn at ease.

Dr. Chodosh performed the procedure in December 2016. The procedure took a couple of hours and Marilyn was in Concord Hospital overnight. Dr. Chodosh is currently the only electrophysiologist in New Hampshire performing cryoballoon ablation.

The treatment has given Marilyn peace of mind and allowed her to continue her active lifestyle, something that is very important to her. She was soon back to playing tennis twice a week, at age 80. Marilyn has had very minor episodes of irregular heartbeat since the procedure, but nothing compared to the terrifying, prolonged arrhythmias of the past.

Marilyn’s late husband, Berger Carlson, was a general surgeon at Concord Hospital for 40 years, so she and her family were familiar with health care, in Concord and elsewhere. Marilyn’s daughter, Holly Carlson, who accompanied her to appointments, said Dr. Chodosh and the team at Cardiac Associates are special.

“Dr. Chodosh was incredibly patient, not just with my mother’s questions, but with the thousands I had,” Holly said. “More than any doctor I have ever seen, he was incredibly good and gracious about answering all of our questions.”

“Dr. Chodosh makes you feel like you are the most important patient he has.”

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