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Heart arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmias are disruptions in a regular heart rhythm, which can include slow, irregular or fast heart beats. They occur when the electrical impulses to the heart stray from their normal sequence and can range from being harmless to life-threatening.

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Arrhythmia treatment in Nashville, Tennessee, and Bowling Green, Kentucky

Irregular heartbeats are worrisome, but we can help manage and treat your arrhythmia.

TriStar Health's cardiac specialists use advanced diagnostics and electrophysiology to treat arrhythmia symptoms. We also offer minimally-invasive procedures and implanted devices.

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Types of arrhythmias we treat

Electrophysiology addresses several types of arrhythmias — irregular heartbeat patterns caused by abnormal electrical impulse rhythms. A healthy heart typically pumps between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). A heartbeat below 60 bpm is called bradycardia, while a heartbeat over 100 bpm is referred to as tachycardia. Also common is bradyarrhythmia, a heartbeat below 60 bpm caused by a dysfunction within the muscle cells that send signals to the heart. We treat all types of arrhythmias, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Atrial flutter
  • Bradyarrhythmia
  • Bradycardia
  • Heart block
  • Long QT syndrome (LQTS)
  • Premature atrial contractions (PACs)
  • Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)
  • Sinus node dysfunction (sick sinus syndrome)
  • Tachycardia, such as:
    • Accessory pathway tachycardia (bypass tract tachycardia)
    • Atrial tachycardia
    • Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT)
    • Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
    • Sinus tachycardia
    • Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach)
      • Torsades de Pointes
  • Ventricular fibrillation (VFib)

Cardiac electrophysiology treatments

Whether the result of a congenital abnormality or a condition such as coronary artery disease, electrolyte imbalance or high blood pressure, we want to help you move forward with a regularly beating heart. An arrhythmia can occur without a known cause in an otherwise healthy heart, so we use a variety of treatments to help you overcome your condition.

Diagnosing arrhythmias

Our cardiology teams collaborate to provide individualized treatment plans for both adult and pediatric patients experiencing arrhythmias.

Holter monitors, or, portable electrocardiograms (ECG), are a primary diagnostic tool used to identify arrhythmias, recording your heart's rhythms for 24—48 hours during normal, waking activities. To record these rhythms, the device, along with electrodes, are taped to your chest.

We also offer electrophysiology studies to understand the source of irregular heartbeats, including cardiac mapping, which uses a vest made up of hundreds of electrodes.

Arrhythmia treatments we offer

Many arrhythmias are left untreated because they may not cause problematic symptoms or increase the risk of developing more dangerous arrhythmias.

However, if you pose a risk for electrophysiology complications, we can offer you several treatment options, including:

Devices

Devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators are used to maintain regular heartbeats by being implanted inside the body. Pacemakers send electrical impulses to the heart, typically when it beats too slowly, and defibrillators detect irregular heartbeats and then deliver a shock, typically when the heart beats too fast.

Medications

We use several different types of medications to combat arrhythmias. Antiarrhythmics work to directly prevent arrhythmia, while anticoagulants reduce the risk of blood clots.

Procedures

Certain arrhythmias require cardiovascular surgery or a cardiac catheterization procedure. These procedures, such as ablation, are employed in more serious cases, and are used to stop electrical impulses from affecting the heart.

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