An estimated 12.1 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation, a cardiac arrhythmia that affects how your heart beats. At the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center, the cardiovascular specialists offer complete care for arrhythmias. The physicians use medication, cardiac ablation, pacemakers, and other minimally invasive procedures to restore your heart’s healthy rhythm. Call the office in Prescott, Phoenix, Yuma, Gilbert, or Peoria (Sun City), Arizona, to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for an arrhythmia or book your appointment online.
Arrhythmia is a heartbeat that’s too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregular. The most common arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, a rapid, irregular heartbeat.
You might be at increased risk of developing an arrhythmia if you have congenital defects in your heart. These are defects you were born with. Other things that can increase your risk of an arrhythmia include:
Many people have a temporary, harmless arrhythmia. But in some cases, the condition can become life-threatening.
If your heart is beating too fast or skipping beats, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center. You should also book an appointment if you have symptoms like:
The cardiovascular specialists can diagnose arrhythmia during a physical exam and review of your medical history and symptoms. They might also order diagnostic tests like an electrocardiogram (EKG) or an echocardiogram (echo) to check for heart irregularities.
You might need to wear a Holter monitor, a portable EKG device that records your heart’s activity throughout the day.
Based on your test results, the providers determine the best treatment to regulate your heartbeat.
Your treatment plan for arrhythmia will depend on your symptoms. In some cases, you might not need to start treatment but should keep up with routine follow-up appointments to monitor your heart health.
If your arrhythmia needs treatment, the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center physicians can prescribe medications to control your heart rate. You might also need blood thinners to reduce your risk of blood clots.
Other arrhythmia treatments include:
In some cases, you’ll need a procedure to reset your heart’s rhythm. During cardioversion therapy, the physicians deliver a shock to your heart through patches or paddles on your chest to restore a healthy heart rhythm.
When other therapies don’t work, you can undergo cardiac ablation. This involves inserting a catheter into the blood vessels of your heart. Electrodes in the tip of the catheter use heat or cold energy to create scars in your heart tissue. The scars block abnormal electrical signals to restore a normal heart rhythm.
If your heartbeat is too slow, you could need a pacemaker. This implantable device uses electrical impulses to force your heart to beat steadily.
An ICD is a treatment choice if you have a dangerously irregular or fast heartbeat. This implantable device is similar to a pacemaker but treats abnormal heart rhythms as they occur.
Call the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center office nearest you today or book an appointment online if you have arrhythmia symptoms.