Feeling your heart racing or beating erratically is a common symptom of arrhythmia — an abnormal heartbeat. If you've experienced the scary feeling of an irregular heartbeat, the experienced cardiologists at Pinnacle Healthcare System can help. At the locations in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, Florida, the team provides prompt, expert diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. For an expert assessment of your irregular heartbeat, call Pinnacle Healthcare System or book an appointment online today.
Arrhythmias are abnormalities in your heartbeat. Some arrhythmias cause tachycardia, where your heart beats too fast; others cause bradycardia, where your heartbeat is too slow.
You can also get fibrillation, where your heartbeat has an irregular rhythm or a combination of these problems. Types of arrhythmia include:
Atrial fibrillation or AFib is an irregular heartbeat due to the upper chambers (atria) of your heart not coordinating with the lower chambers (ventricles). AFib can cause palpitations, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Atrial flutter (supraventricular tachycardia) causes a fast heartbeat — typically 250-400 beats per minute, whereas a normal rate is 60-100 beats per minute. Atrial flutter is a result of an abnormality in the electrical circuitry of your right atrium.
Ventricular fibrillation (VFib) is a type of arrhythmia where the ventricles (lower chambers of your heart) beat at a dangerously high pace. As a result, they quiver instead of beating and can't pump blood properly.
Ventricular tachycardia (an accelerated heartbeat) can develop into ventricular fibrillation, or you may have VFib because of a heart attack. It's a life-threatening emergency and the most common cause of heart-related sudden death.
Treating arrhythmias requires two approaches initially. One is to look at any underlying health or lifestyle issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Managing your condition correctly, losing weight, and eating a heart-healthy diet can all help.
You might also need to take medications for your arrhythmia. Antiarrhythmic medicines affect the electrical current in your heart, helping to restore its normal rhythm.
Other drugs you may need include beta-blockers to reduce tachycardia or anticoagulants (blood thinners) if there's a risk of a blood clot developing.
If your arrhythmia is severe or doesn't improve with other treatments, you might need to undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
However, there are several minimally invasive options the team at Pinnacle Healthcare System can perform before surgery, including:
Implantable devices like pacemakers and defibrillators regulate your heartbeat.
To perform catheter ablation, your provider applies heat via a thin tube (catheter) to the abnormal cells in your heart muscle that are causing the arrhythmia.
If you have symptoms of arrhythmia, call Pinnacle Healthcare System or book an appointment online today.