Cardiac Electrophysiology

Rely on Essentia's electrophysiologists to diagnose and treat irregular heart rhythms using the most advanced technology available.

What's an Electrophysiologist?

An electrophysiologist is a cardiologist (heart doctor) with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of irregular heart rhythms.

Irregular Heart Rhythms

Irregular heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmias, happen when abnormal electrical activity in your heart makes it beat too fast, too slow, or unevenly. There are many types of arrhythmias and they have many causes.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a type of arrhythmia where your heart beats irregularly. It is one of the most common heart rhythm conditions. Essentia offers special programs at two of its heart centers to help patients manage their atrial fibrillation.

If you have AFib that isn’t caused by a heart valve problem, also called non-valvular AFib, your doctor may recommend getting a Watchman device instead of taking the blood thinning medication Warfarin. A Watchman can reduce your risk of having a stroke.


Trust our experts to evaluate your unique situation and work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that can reduce any symptoms and improve your quality of life. They may recommend:

  • Diagnostic tests and cardiac imaging, like a mapping study
  • Medications
  • Traditional or minimally invasive surgical procedures, including radiofrequency cardiac ablation or left atrial appendage closure
  • Device therapies, such as placement of a loop recorder, pacemaker, implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD), or subcutaneous implantable cardiac defibrillator (SICD)
  • Watchman

Cardiology: Watchman Device Video Transcript

Dr. Kalkidan Bishu, interventional cardiologist, holds a complex heart model, using it to supplement his presentation.

DR. KALKIDAN BISHU: The problem with atrial fibrillation is that contraction in the upper chambers of the heart is so disorganized that sludge can form into a clot within the heart chambers. 90% of the strokes in atrial fibrillation come from sludge that forms within the left atrial appendage, which is a small cavity found in the left upper side of the heart.

Mary Starkman, C. N. P. , Heart and Vascular Center, speaks to the camera. She wears a white coat, and black stethoscope. She motions to her heart and she speaks.

MARY STARKMAN: The fact that you have an extra appendage like your appendix, that's like a little room off of the top part of the heart. That room is a pocket without a door, and within that room, a clot can form and then that clot can freely leave because there's nothing to stop it from leaving. So when I talk about putting the Watchman device in, which is essentially a plug to plug up that room, I tell them we're going to put a door on that room.

An animation plays of the procedure. The plug end expands to close off a portion of the vessel. Dr. Bishu holds the small, round device that represents the plug in the treatment.

DR. KALKIDAN BISHU: It's a device that is made of a metal frame covered by the mesh. A cloth pipe mesh. And what it does is that it excludes the part of the heart where clots form the atrial fibrillation and preventing from clots being spread into the body.

Leadless Pacemaker

Medical Insight: Leadless Pacemaker - Essentia Health Video Transcript

A gradient blue featuring several Essentia Health logos appears. Text, Medical Insight.

SPEAKER: Welcome to Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health. Here's your host, Maureen Talarico.

Medical Insight host, Maureen Talarico, speaks to the camera.

MAUREEN TALARICO: Today on Medical Insight, cardiac electro physiologist Dr. Siva Krothapalli talks about the micro device, the world's smallest leadless pacemaker. SIVA KROTHAPALLI: A

Dr. Siva Krothapalli, cardiologist, speaks to the camera. He sits in a patient examination room.

leadless pacemaker is a small vitamin-shaped device that we inject into the right lower chamber of the heart. And this is for patients who require electrical pacing in the lower channels of the heart. The leaderless pacemaker is about the size of a big vitamin capsule. It measures about 1. 7 grams in weight. MAUREEN TALARICO: Unlike traditional pacemakers, which require an incision above the heart and leads or wires that run from the pacemaker to the heart, the micro device is implanted non-invasively, has a lower risk of complications, and offers a quick recovery time. SIVA KROTHAPALLI: Most of the times, there is absolutely no restrictions except for taking it easy for at least a couple of days. MAUREEN TALARICO: The micro device also has built-in technology that can monitor blood pressure, as well as alter the patient's heart rate based on their activity level. SIVA KROTHAPALLI:

Dr. Krothapalli holds a small, pellet-like, pacemaker between his thumb and index finger.

These leadless pacemakers, they have sensors in them that are able to detect patient's activity levels and then increase those heartbeats in accordance so that they're better able to perform their activities. One other benefit with these devices is the cosmetic appearance because you do not have a scar. You do not have a bump. You do not have anything that reminds you that you have a pacemaker.

An animation of a human heart depicts the position of the pacemaker inside of the heart.

MAUREEN TALARICO: According to Dr. Krothapalli, the biggest benefit of now offering the micro device is the ability to provide world-class care close to home. SIVA KROTHAPALLI: Having a facility closer to home to answer their questions, to be able to drop in to check on the site, that, I think, provides a great advantage for our patients. MAUREEN TALARICO: If you are interested in learning more or to see if you qualify for the micro device, contact the Essentia Health Heart and Vascular Center. For Medical Insight, I'm Maureen Talarico. SPEAKER: To learn more about this topic, call our experts 786-3107.

Text, Medical Insight. Phone number, 218-786-3107. Website, essentia health dot org. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health.

Make an Appointment

Schedule by Phone
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

Like most websites, we use cookies and other technologies to keep our website reliable, secure, and to better understand how our site is used. By using our site, you agree to our use of these tools. Learn more.