Lance Gillette's heart was literally skipping a beat — a problem he's had since his teens. Now 32, he was noticing it more and more.
"The last two years maybe, I noticed I was getting more fatigued," Gillette said. "I just noticed that I wouldn't be able to run as fast as I had been before, or take a spin class as hard as I had before."
The irregular heart rhythm is called premature ventricular contractions, an arrhythmia that impacts anywhere between 40 to 75 percent of the general population.
"I had a stress test done, a couple EKGs, a 24-hour heart monitor," Lance said. "I had a little bit of heart weakening from just the amount of PVCs I was having. I think my cardiologist told me they were around somewhere of around 20 to 30 percent of my overall beats."
He needed surgery to help his heart beat correctly.
To pinpoint where his arrhythmia was, Cardiologist Nicholas Skipitaris used a new technology on Gillette: the CardioInsight Mapping Vest.
"Think of it as an EKG on steroids," Skipitaris said. "The traditional EKG has 12 leads; the CardioInsight Vest has 252. So it's actually looking at the heart from 252 different perspectives."
The colorful display shows doctors exactly where the irregular heart beat is, in bright red.
"It allows us to direct our invasive procedure before we've even invaded the patient's veins and put catheters up in the heart. We have a very good idea of where the arrhythmia will be coming from," Skipitaris said. "So it actually shortens the duration of the procedure."
Currently, the vest is being studied for greater use in patients with atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia.
"Particularly when you're in atrial fibrillation, the signals are a little bit smaller," Skipitaris said.
"So the ability to see those smaller signals from outside of the chest becomes a little bit more challenging."
"It can be done," Skipitaris said. "We're in the process of trying to tune that up."
Just a few months after surgery, Gillette is once again full of energy.
"I feel like my body has like reversed age, if that's even a way of phrasing it," Gillette said. "I just feel like I'm like younger and healthier."