About Dr Wells
Dr Peter Wells is a cardiologist and electrophysiologist whose research appointment is at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas. He directed the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program there for 15 years. Under his tenure, the Fellowship Program grew to include advanced training in cardiac electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, congestive heart failure/cardiac resynchronization, and advanced cardiac imaging. He currently practices electrophysiology in west Texas including Odessa and Midland.
Early interests in medicine
Dr Wells attended Indiana University School of Medicine where he was awarded academic scholarships, performed basic science research in enzymology, was elected to the AOA honor medical society, and graduated with highest distinction in 1982. His internal medicine internship and residency were at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, where he became interested in cardiology and, specifically, in electrophysiology.
Specialization in cardiology
In 1985, he was became a cardiology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where his research interests included molecular biology and ultimately cardiac electrophysiology. It was at UT Southwestern that he completed formal training in cardiac electrophysiology and joined the faculty in 1988. In 1989, he performed the first RF ablation in Texas. In 1990, he became the Director of Electrophysiology at UT Southwestern and the Dallas VA Medical Center. He relocated to Baylor University Medical Center in 1991, but continued to direct the electrophysiology efforts at the Dallas VA Medical center until 1994 when he was named the Program Director for the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program at Baylor Hospital. He practices at Baylor from 1991 until 2013, but maintains a research position through the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute.
A leader in catheter ablation
Dr Wells has performed over 4,000 catheter ablations, including nearly 1,000 in the last 8 years. His current research efforts include cryoablation, sinus node function in inappropriate sinus tachycardia, intracardiac mapping, and outcomes research in catheter ablation. He is the principle investigator of the ICY-AVNRT Trial, a 50-site study in the US and Canada of cryoablation for AVNRT using the Freezor Xtra cryoablation catheter.
He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. He is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Heart Rhythm Society.
Dr Wells’s personal philosophy
“People with heart rhythm problems deserve excellent and compassionate care. This web site is designed to help people with a heart rhythm problem to understand what is wrong with them, what they can expect because of their condition, and what their options for treatment are.
“I am committed to informing them about cryoablation and how they might benefit from it as opposed to RF ablation. There are areas where RF ablation is fine and areas where cryoablation is, in my opinion, superior. Since cryoablation is not as widely available as RF ablation, people must understand what they stand to gain before potentially having to travel somewhere to find a doctor experienced in this technology. Lastly, people need advice on how to find an experienced doctor, since cryoablation is a newer technology than RF ablation.
“There are two factors relevant to ablation procedures: safety and efficacy. In my opinion, safety is the more important by far. Given the choice between (1) having to undergo a second ablation because the first one did not work and (2) ending up with a permanent pacemaker for the rest of their life because of a complication, most people would, understandably, choose the former.
“This is where cryoablation offers so many advantages. At our institution, I do most of my ablations with cryo and am now realizing results very similar to what I used to get with RF ablation. I am active in research and am educating others doctors who perform ablation on how to add cryoablation to their practice. I think that in the future, the vast majority of ablations will end up being cryoablations with RF reserved for particular cases.”