This is a basic overview of the different strategies used in the treatment and management of your heart rhythm issues. This page is neither inclusive nor exclusive of what may offered to you. Please read further in the ‘Services’ section for additional information on the specific type of treatment you wish to inquire more.
Most patients have various risk factors that contribute to their arrhythmias. Modification of these risk factors will often improve and, in some cases, completely alleviate the symptoms. Some basic steps for risk factor modification involve maintaining healthy weight, eating low-fat low-salt diet, not smoking, and avoiding alcohol or excessive caffeine intake. Known diagnoses should be aggressively treated with your physician.
If additional information is required, then home rhythm monitoring may be performed with a Holter monitor, an event monitor or an implantable loop recorder.
To treat slow heart rhythms, the first step involves finding and correcting any reversible causes. However, if the slow heart rhythm is permanent and is associated with symptoms, then a pacemaker may be required to rectify this.
For fast heart rhythms, your doctors will often try medications first based on the heart rhythm and the clinical situation. These medications may involve some specialized blood pressure meds, or they may involve specialized drugs called anti-arrhythmic drugs which work directly at the heart to fix or prevent the arrhythmias. Your doctor will discuss various medications options with you. Depending on the diagnosis, other types of medications may be discussed, including blood thinners.
Other options that may be used to treat fast heart rhythms include an EP study or ablation. An EP study involves studying the electrical properties of the heart and the arrhythmia if it is induced. This is usually followed by an ablation which is the procedure used to fix the arrhythmia.
Finally, a defibrillator or cardiac resynchronization therapy (BiV) devices may be used in certain clinical situation to fix fast heart rhythms, help keep patients alive, alleviate symptoms, and improve heart failure.