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Heart Rhythm Problems

AnMed Health Heart and Vascular Care - Heart Rhythm Problems


Heart rhythm problems are more common than most people think. Each year, millions of Americans are affected by heart rhythm disorders, most of which can be treated.

Abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias, can cause you to feel like your heart skipped a beat or like it’s racing out of control. Listen to an example of an abnormal heart rhythm.

There are four common types of arrhythmias:

  • Bradycardia
  • Irregular or extra heartbeats
  • Supraventricular Tachycardia – atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, paroxysmal SVT
  • Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)

Arrhythmias can be life-threatening if left untreated. At AnMed Health Heart and Vascular Center, we use several diagnostic tests to identify arrhythmias including electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter Monitor, a stress test, a tilt table test and an electrophysiology study (EP) if necessary. If an arrhythmia is not revealed with routine testing, your doctor may suggest an implantable loop recorder.

The Heart and Vascular Center’s electrophysiology lab offers some of the latest advances in technology and treatment for arrhythmias, including bi-ventricular implantable pacemakers, MRI proof pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators or ICDs, and ablation.

While many treatments involve implantable devices, ablation takes a different approach and burns away cells to eliminate the abnormal rhythm. Here’s how it works:

During an EP study, the electrophysiologist (a cardiologist with specialized training in the electrical system of the heart) will thread long, thin, flexible wires to the heart, normally through the groin. When the electrophysiologist determines which area of the heart is causing the arrhythmia, a special wire carrying radiofrequency energy is used to cauterize the site. Ablation is an outpatient procedure that normally takes only a couple of hours to complete and has few complications. At AnMed Health, our robot-assisted navigation system makes it easier to guide the catheter during ablation procedures. This ease of access helps to shorten the procedure time and reduce patients’ radiation exposure.

Read Susan's Story about why an MRI-proof pacemaker was the right choice for her.

Introducing the next generation in cardiac technology

The Hansen Sensei® X Robotic-Assisted Cardiac Navigation System

At AnMed Health, we offer the latest in advanced cardiac technology, including the innovative Hansen Sensei® X Robot-Assisted EP Cardiac Navigation System. The system dramatically improves accuracy in detecting and eliminating the origin of heart rhythm disturbances, while giving the electrophysiologist more precise control and stability during the procedure to block abnormal electrical impulses within the heart.

The Hansen system also gives the physician access to areas of the heart that have been difficult to reach in the past, and reduces both the exposure to radiation1-4 and the amount of time required for the procedure.1

1 Kautzner, Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 2009

2 Steven, Heart Rhythm 2008

3 DiBiase, JCE 2009

4 Steven, JCE 2009

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