Heart Rhythm Disorders
When the electrical pulses that control your heartbeat become irregular, it can cause an arrhythmia, or heart rhythm disorder. While some abnormal heart rhythms are harmless, others can lead to serious problems such as stroke, fainting and more.
Centura Health had the first hospital in Colorado to be certified for the atrial fibrillation procedure, and we continue to go above and beyond, bringing you the latest innovations in heart care.
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Common Heart Rhythm Disorders
Some of the more common types of arrhythmias include:
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib)—an irregular heart rhythm that affects the upper chambers of the heart, resulting in blood not being completely pumped out of the upper chambers of the heart -
- Atrial flutter—A condition similar to AFib. While AFib is characterized by a rapid, irregular heartbeat, atrial flutter makes the heart beat fast but regularly
- Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT)—a type of abnormally fast heart rhythm where electrical impulses reenter an electrical conduction system in the top of the heart
- Heart block or atrioventricular block—an abnormally slow heartbeat caused by a blockage of electrical impulses between the top and bottom of the heart
- Multifocal atrial tachycardia—a rapid heartbeat caused by “competing” electrical signals in the upper heart.
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia—a racing heartbeat caused by an extra electrical pathway in the heart.
- Sick sinus syndrome—a group of abnormal rhythms caused by malfunction of the sinus node in the heart.
- Ventricular fibrillation—The lower chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating correctly, keeping the heart from pumping blood effectively.
- Ventricular tachycardia—A fast but regular rhythm in the lower heart. Can cause ventricular fibrillation.
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome—an extra electrical pathway between to upper heart and lower heart, usually present at birth, causes a rapid heartbeat.
Our advanced electrophysiology labs use diagnostic tests will be used to pinpoint the cause of your arrhythmia. If medication is not enough to treat the cause, there are a number of other possible treatment options.
- Remote monitoring—Some patients may be eligible for remote monitoring. A device can be externally worn or implantedthat can be inspected remotely by internet. This allows for information about a patient’s heart health to be shared with their doctors without having to make a visit. In the event of a cardiac event, the device be assessed and alert the physician in a timely manner.
- Cardiac electrical mapping – This determines the abnormal electrical pathways inside the hear.
- Cardiac ablation—During this procedure, a catheter is positioned inside your heart near the pulmonary veins. Energy is applied to cauterize the heart tissue at the source of the heart rhythm disorder. As a result, the abnormal electrical signals can no longer reach the rest of the heart and trigger heart rhythm disorders. Centura Health offers additional ablation techniques such as:
- Radiofrequency ablation – With this procedure, a medium frequency alternating current is used to ablate the electrical conduction system of the heart. The procedure can typically be done under light sedation.
- Cardiac balloon cryoablation—Centura Health also offers other advanced techniques, including Arctic Front® Cryoballoon ablation. In this procedure, a refrigerant is delivered through a catheter to a small balloon. This freezes the tissue instead of cauterizing it to disable unwanted electrical signals.
- Pacemaker/defibrillator implantation—If you suffer from a slow or a fast heartbeat, implantable devices can help keep the heartbeat regular. Slow heartbeats are often treated with pacemakers. Fast, dangerous heartbeats, which may lead to cardiac arrest, can be treated with an implantable cardioverter.