During a routine check-up with his primary care physician, Jim Winkeler, received an unexpected diagnosis. “She checked my heartbeat with a stethoscope and immediately asked if I was feeling okay,” recounts Jim. Thinking he felt fine for a man of his age, Jim was surprised when his doctor told him he had Atrial Fibrillation, commonly known as A-Fib, and instructed him to see a cardiologist right away.
The cardiologist’s testing confirmed the diagnosis, and Jim’s treatment proceeded with a series of five cardioversions. Each time, the arrhythmia seemed to go away for a few days but would return. Among his treatment options were long-term medications or cardiac catheter ablation.
“I didn’t want to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life, so I went to see Dr. Karthik Ramaswamy at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. Dr. Ramaswamy was a tremendous proponent of Stereotaxis, and when I first saw the Stereotaxis system I was immediately impressed by the technology.”
Jim is a retired aerospace engineer, and the day of his procedure, hooked up to wires in the Stereotaxis lab at Missouri Baptist, he felt like an astronaut, but he placed his trust in his doctor and the machine.
It’s been two years since Jim’s cardiac catheter ablation. It wasn’t until after treatment he realized how much the condition had actually affected his life.
“Before, I couldn’t walk up stairs without taking a break. I had just assumed that was a sign of aging. After my treatment I felt an immediate improvement. Now, I have no trouble at all going up a flight of stairs or playing with my grand kids,” Jim says. He adds, “To someone considering getting treated with Robotic Magnetic Navigation, I would say, ‘Don’t wait to talk to your doctor!’ For me, overall, it was a great experience.”