When Nisha Tung, MD, was a young girl she wanted to be a surgeon when she grew up. After all, she came from a family of physicians and medicine was in her blood. But her family also had a history of heart problems and as an adult she decided to enter the field of cardiology, before going on to specialize in treating heart rhythm problems called arrhythmias.
Dr. Tung started out at Indiana University in Indianapolis as a resident in internal medicine. She then moved to Arizona to complete a cardiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, where she was then hired as a general cardiologist. Dr. Tung decided to specialize in electrophysiology, a subspecialty of cardiology, and moved to Los Angeles to receive training at the University of California. As a newly board-certified cardiac electrophysiologist and cardiologist, Dr. Tung returned to Phoenix and entered private practice.
“I soon recognized the need for an electrophysiologist in Northern Arizona,” she said. “It was a real hardship for patients to come to Phoenix for consultation, procedures and follow-up. I decided it would be best to set up an outreach clinic in Northcentral Arizona. After falling in love with the community of Prescott I accepted an offer from Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center to develop an electrophysiology program in 2015.”
Today Dr. Tung is the director of a growing electrophysiology program within YRMC’s James Family Heart Center.
“When the electrophysiology program opened in August 2015 we were already booked with procedures,” she said. “Since then procedures have doubled to about 500 a year.
“I am extremely passionate about my patients,” she continued. “With me every patient is a VIP. I am deeply committed to achieving the best outcome for every patient in my care.”
When not working Dr. Tung enjoys hiking, biking, tennis, racquetball and pickleball. She also enjoys spending time with her family and 10-year-old son who wants to be a doctor when he grows up.
Electrophysiology Services at YRMC
Electrophysiology is a subspecialty of general cardiology which deals exclusively with electrical pulses that regulate the heart. When these pulses beat steadily, they signal the heart to pump the blood that oxygenates, feeds and protects the body. When the heartbeat is off—either too fast, slow or erratic—arrhythmias, or irregular heart rhythms, develop. These arrhythmias can lead to stroke, heart attack or even sudden death.
As an electrophysiologist with YRMC’s James Family Heart Center, Dr. Tung specializes in identifying and correcting these arrhythmias. Depending on the source of the problem, she may use cardiac ablation, a noninvasive procedure where she inserts a slim catheter and destroys problem cells by applying cold or heat. Or she may need to regulate the heart’s rhythm by implanting a device like a pacemaker or defibrillator, which she then monitors through remote follow-up technology.
So how do you know if you have an arrhythmia? Symptoms include fluttering in the chest, chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating and anxiety. If you experience these symptoms see your primary care physician or go to the ER if the pain is severe. If they think you have an arrhythmia, ask for a referral to see Dr. Tung.