Depending on your diagnosis, your cardiologist will create a comprehensive treatment program to treat your arrhythmia. Meet our electrophysiologists.
Treatment for arrhythmias in Washington, D.C.
Treatment for arrhythmias may include:
- Medical management
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)
- Laser lead extractions
- Arrhythmia management in congenital heart disease
- Leadless defibrillator: Subcutaneous implantable defibrillator
Depending on the nature and severity of your arrhythmias, your physicians may prescribe medicine to help regulate your heart. Alternatively, they may use medicine in combination with one of these other treatments. Our electrophysiologists have the experience and expertise to determine which form of treatment is best for each patient.
ICDs are extraordinary, life-saving tools that protect patients against sudden cardiac arrest. We implant these small devices, about the size of a pager, below your collarbone. We then place wires from the device on your heart, via a vein. The ICD monitors the heart’s rhythm. If a dangerous arrhythmia occurs, the ICD can pace the heart or shock it back to normal. These devices also keep a record of the heart’s rhythms, which can be wirelessly transmitted to your cardiologist for analysis.
Pacemakers are small sources of electrical stimulation implanted in the heart to maintain a healthy rhythm. They weigh about one ounce and rest just under the collarbone. We usually implant pacemakers as an outpatient procedure.
We use pacemakers to:
- Treat bradycardia, or a slow heart rate
- Relieve the symptoms of heart failure
- Prevent syncope
- Manage atrial fibrillation
Sometimes, the arrhythmia may not show up while we are recording the ECG. Your physician may suggest loop recording. Your doctor places a small recordable device underneath the skin, close to your heart. The device records the heart’s rhythms over a period, often months to even years. The physician can review the results and make recommendations for further therapy.
- Atrial fibrillation ablation, including the novel convergent atrial fibrillation ablation method
- Ventricular tachycardia ablation
- Supraventricular tachycardia ablations
- Complex arrhythmia ablation
Sometimes, the leads from an implantable device to the heart become fractured or infected. An electrophysiologist can safely remove them by using a sophisticated extraction device. The device relies on a fiber optic laser to remove leads that have been in place for years or even decades. By guiding the device, your doctor can deliver a controlled dose of laser energy to remove any scar tissue and free the lead, enabling its safe removal. We can perform this procedure on an outpatient basis.
Many patients with congenital heart conditions are prone to developing heart conditions throughout life. These conditions are challenging to diagnose and treat. Our electrophysiologists are experienced in identifying and treating arrhythmias caused by congenital heart disease.
Where to go from here?Previous Topic: Arrhythmia Diagnosis
Inside Arrhythmia Treatment: Leadless Defibrillator: Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator
Next Topic: Center for Complex Arrhythmia Therapy
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