Electrophysiology: Treatment of heart rhythm disorders
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Heart rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias, can either speed up or slow down the heart rate. While some result in harmless palpitations, others can be more serious and even deadly. MDCA cardiologists have expertise in the latest treatment options for patients with arrhythmias. There are simple and easy treatment therapies including taking medication such as beta blockers and other anti-arrhythmic drugs. More complex and invasive therapies include electrical shock to the heart, installing a pacemaker or defibrillator, radiofrequency ablation using catheterization to stop irregular electrical impulses in the heart, and even surgical ablation as a last resort. The following are services and areas of expertise offered by MDCA physicians.
- Evaluation and Medical Treatment of Rhythm Disorders. Arrhythmias include bradycardia, tachycardia, atrial and ventricular fibrillation, and premature atrial and ventricular contractions. They are diagnosed with EKGs and stress tests and treated with medication and/or a variety of more invasive procedures, including radiofrequency ablation and through implanting pacemakers and defibrillators.
- Management of Familial Sudden Cardiac Death Syndromes. Several different types of cardiac death syndromes are inherited. They can be treated through preventative measures using medications and by implanting defibrillators that will shock the heart back into a lifesaving rhythm.
- Diagnostic Electrophysiology Testing. Different tests are used to diagnose arrhythmias, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a electrophysiologic study (EPS). EKGs include exercise stress tests or the use of a Holter monitor that records the heartbeat over a day or more.
- Radiofrequency Ablation. A minimally invasive procedure, this involves heart catheterization and uses radiofrequency energy to selectively destroy heart tissue with abnormal electrical pathways that cause arrhythmias.
- Atrial Fibrillation Ablation. MDCA cardiologists are employing new and innovative research in atrial fibrillation ablation with much success. Using radiofrequency energy, the latest procedures involve ablating different areas in the left atrium near the openings of pulmonary veins.
- Cardiac Pacemakers and Defibrillators. Pacemakers and defibrillators help maintain normal heart rhythms in patients with chronic arrhythmias that are often caused by heart disease. MDCA cardiologists use the most minimally invasive procedures possible to implant these devices that deliver electrical impulses to the heart.
- Cardiac Resynchronization. With the use of a biventricular pacemaker, this therapy is used in patients whose right and left ventricles beat out of sync - a condition that could cause heart failure.
- Pacemaker/Defibrillator Lead Extraction. MDCA cardiologists are experts in removing worn or damaged “leads” (wires) from pacemakers or defibrillators that are connected to heart tissue.
- Syncope Evaluation. Heart disease can be an underlying cause of syncope (fainting). Through EKGs and other diagnostic testing, MDCA cardiologists can pinpoint and then treat a cardiac condition that may cause syncope.