If you have an arrhythmia, you may experience heart fluttering, chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness. Some heart rhythm issues are harmless and don’t cause any symptoms. But certain arrhythmias can be life-threatening and increase your risk of heart failure and stroke.
Arrhythmia causes may include:
At the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute, we use the latest technologies to accurately diagnose and treat your arrhythmia.
Our Electrophysiology (EP) Program features sophisticated diagnostic equipment to test the electrical activity of your heart. Our heart rhythm specialists, or electrophysiologists, utilize advanced heart mapping equipment to pinpoint areas of the heart causing the arrhythmia There are different types of cardiac arrhythmias.
In atrial fibrillation, your heart’s upper chambers contract irregularly.
VT is a fast rhythm originating from the bottom chambers of the heart.
Bradycardia involves slow heart rates that may be unstable or cause symptoms.
Tachycardia occurs when your resting heart rate is greater than 100 beats per minute.
Premature contractions are extra heart beats that can originate in the top or bottom chamber of the heart. These beats can sometimes cause a fluttering or sensation of a skipped beat.
Our heart rhythm specialists, or electrophysiologists, utilize advanced heart mapping equipment to pinpoint areas of the heart causing the arrhythmia.
There are different types of cardiac arrhythmias.
Types of arrhythmias include:
These medications are used to reduce symptoms and lower stroke risk:
These medications lower stroke risk by preventing blood clots from forming.
These medications, also known as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers, help control heart rate and reduce symptoms related to fast heart rhythms.
These medications prevent and treat abnormal heart beats, helping your heart’s upper and lower chambers work together more efficiently.
Pacemakers and defibrillators are implanted cardiac devices that send electrical impulses to your heart to restore and maintain a normal heart rhythm.
This is a procedure in which a controlled electrical shock is delivered to your heart. The shock disrupts the electrical pulses causing the irregular heartbeat and restores the heart’s normal rhythm.
During an ablation procedure, your doctor uses either heat (radiofrequency ablation) or cold (cryoablation) to destroy areas of heart tissue responsible for sending erratic electrical signals. The resulting scar tissue blocks the signals that cause arrhythmia.
Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure. Your doctor guides thin wires or catheters through a blood vessel in your groin to reach your heart. Targeted energy is used to treat the heart tissue so that it no longer beats out of rhythm.
We’re a national leader in using 3D mapping and ultrasound instead of traditional radiation (X-ray) to perform specialized procedures to treat various arrhythmias. This process minimizes your exposure to radiation during the procedure.
The Cox-maze procedure is performed during open-heart surgery or with minimally invasive techniques with a small incision in the right chest. Your cardiac surgeon also removes the left atrial appendage during this procedure.
The left atrial appendage is an area in the left upper chamber of the heart where blood clots often form when patients experience atrial fibrillation. Left atrial occlusion uses a permanent self-expanding device to seal off the heart’s left atrial appendage, preventing blood clots from causing a stroke.
We offer ongoing, comprehensive arrhythmia care at the AHN Atrial Fibrillation Program located within the AHN Cardiovascular Institute at Allegheny General Hospital.
Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 to request an appointment with AHN cardiovascular services.