3 Effective Treatment Options for Arrhythmia

3 Effective Treatment Options for Arrhythmia

Millions of Americans deal with irregular heart rhythms that jump, flutter, skip, and race. Called an arrhythmia, there are many different types, and thankfully, most are considered harmless. But not all.

For people who have more severe and problematic arrhythmias, taking steps to offset the risks that come with this condition, such as heart attack and stroke, is an excellent idea.

If you’re dealing with an arrhythmia and you suspect (or we’ve told you) that you might benefit from treatment, the team here at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists wants to outline three effective approaches to managing or correcting your irregular heart rhythm.

Arrhythmia basics

Though we suspect you might already know this information if you’re reading this blog for treatment information, we just want to briefly review arrhythmias.

As we mentioned, arrhythmia is the term for an irregular heartbeat — it can be slow, fast, or erratic. Under normal circumstances, each of your heartbeats is initiated by your sinoatrial node, which sends electrical impulses through the chambers in your heart, causing them to contract, which pushes blood through.

When you have an arrhythmia, one of three things may be happening:

The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which affects more than 12 million Americans.

Getting your heart to beat regularly 

Now let’s look at three of the approaches that we use most often when it comes to helping our patients manage their arrhythmias, which include:

1. Lifestyle changes and medications

If we diagnose an arrhythmia in a patient, and it’s having some impact on their health and wellness, we almost always start with conservative steps first. For example, we may recommend medications such as blood thinners to keep the blood flowing smoothly and to reduce the risks for heart attack and stroke.

We also find that lifestyle changes, like improved diet and exercise, are two of the best ways to make a significant difference in your cardiovascular health.

2. Pacemakers

If medications and lifestyle changes fall short of remedying the side effects or your arrhythmia, we might get more aggressive with a pacemaker. Up to 3 million Americans are outfitted with a pacemaker, which is a small device that regulates your heart’s rhythm.

Whether you need to speed up your heart rate, slow it down, or regulate it during an erratic episode, the pacemaker can perform all these functions to get your heart ticking properly.

3. Catheter ablation

Another treatment with which we've had great success is a catheter ablation. With this procedure, we thread a small catheter into a blood vessel and guide it toward your heart. The goal is to target the area of your heart that’s responsible for your arrhythmia and destroy it with radiofrequency energy that we deliver through the catheter.

As you can see, you aren’t without options if you’re struggling with an arrhythmia, and we’re happy to help you find the one that works best for your situation.

For expert treatment of your arrhythmia, please contact our office in Mountain View, California, to schedule an appointment.

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