Electrophysiologists Treat Heart Rhythm Disorders
Cardiologists who specialize in electrophysiology diagnosis and treat disorders associated with the heart's electrical systems are called electrophysiologists. These disorders include atrial fibrillation, bradycardia (slow heart rhythm) and tachycardia (fast heart rhythm).
Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm problem, particularly in people over the age of 70. In some cases, medications may be sufficient to control symptoms. If medications are insufficient, an ablation may be recommended.
It’s a common scenario in a cardiology clinic when the cardiologist informs the patient they have atrial fibrillation (AFib), an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating. Shock and fear take over, especially once the cardiologist says something about “increased risk of stroke.” Mathew Hutchinson, MD, discusses how AFib and stroke risks.
New Antithrombotic Therapy for Treating Atrial Fibrillation
New choices for preventing stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation.
Controlling the Electrical Chaos of Atrial Fibrillation
Rapid, irregular heart beats put you at greater risk for stroke.
Atrial fibrillation patients who have both a stroke risk and high-bleeding risks should talk with their doctor about procedures to tie off the left atrial appendage, the most common site for clot formation. These clots carry the risk of breaking off and traveling to the brain where they can cause a stroke.
Lifestyle and Atrial Fibrillation
Some risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation are similar to those for cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.
Learn your CHADS-VASc score.
Heart Rhythm Problems
Sometimes an irregular heart beat can be improved by adjusting medications. This may be the situation when the slow heart beat is due to problems with the sinus node (“sick sinus syndrome”). However, often the slow heart beat cannot be improved by medication adjustments, and then a pacemaker is needed. Pacemakers are also needed when there is electrical block of the signals, particularly in “complete heart block”
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy/Dysplasia (ARVC/D)
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy/Dysplasia (ARVC/D) is an inherited condition that causes abnormal heart rhythms. ARVC/D may account for up to 20 percent of cases of sudden death among young people.
What to Expect When Having an Electrophysiology (EP) Procedure
MRI Scans for Pacemaker and ICD Patients
MRI scans can now be performed safely on selected Pacemaker and ICD patients.
For more health information, please visit our Heart Health page.
For physician appointment information, please call 520-MyHeart (694-3278).
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