What treatments are available to me?
The results of the tests you have had will determine the type and seriousness of your arrhythmia. Your doctor will then discuss with you the treatment options available. You and your doctor will then decide which one is right for you.
There are a number of drugs that can be used to treat your arrhythmia. Anti-arrhythmic drugs are medicines that change the electrical signals in your heart and help prevent irregular or rapid heart rhythms.
If you have a slow heart rate your doctor may recommend you have a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a small device used to treat slow heart rhythms, it is implanted beneath the skin below the collarbone and connected to a pacing wire placed inside the heart. The pacemaker delivers a small electrical impulse to stimulate the heart to beat when it is going too slow.
Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation
If you have an extra electrical pathway or group of cells your doctor will advise you to have a radiofrequency catheter ablation. A radiofrequency catheter ablation blocks the area of extra electrical activity causing the arrhythmias, providing relief for those of you who may not have responded well to medications, or for whatever reason would rather not or cannot take medications. This technique has a high percentage of successfully "curing" many types of arrhythmias.
Internal cardioversion is a low energy electrical shock delivered inside the heart. Two catheters are inserted into a vein in your groin and a small electrode pad applied to your chest. Our Electrophysiologists performs this procedure in the EP lab.
During the internal cardioversion, you will be given a short acting sedative to make you sleepy. Internal cardioversion is performed when medications and external cardioversion have been unsuccessful in returning a patient's rhythm back to a normal sinus rhythm.
This is a device for people who are at risk of life threatening heart rhythms. It is slightly larger than a pacemaker and usually implanted beneath the skin below the collarbone. It is connected to defibrillation/pacing wire(s) positioned inside the heart via a vein. It has the ability to determine and stop fast ventricular arrhythmias by using extra paced beats or delivering an electric shock to the heart. It is also capable of pacing the heart to stop it from going too slow.