Heart rhythm problems, called arrhythmias, can cause a variety of symptoms. These symptoms happen because the heart isn't beating regularly or may not be pumping blood as well as normal. Some of these symptoms include palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting, and shortness of breath. The most common types of arrhythmias include atrial fibrillation (AFib), Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and Ventricular tachycardia (VT).
If you're experiencing arrhythmia symptoms or have been diagnosed with arrhythmia, count on the cardiac specialists at Concord Hospital Cardiovascular Institute's timely, appropriate care to diagnose and treat your condition.
Electrophysiology is the branch of cardiac care that deals primarily with correcting or managing heart rhythm disorders caused by abnormal electrical activity in the heart.
At Concord Hospital Cardiovascular Institute, patients with slow heart rhythm might receive pacemakers. Defibrillators are implanted to help treat fast heart rhythm. Other patients might receive a treatment called ablation, where a tiny section of the heart is frozen or heated to correct an abnormal rhythm. Some are treated with medication only.
Our patients benefit from a traditional pacemaker, defibrillator, and ablation care, but also from newer, more effective techniques such as implanting defibrillators that do not require wires to run to the heart and cryoballoon ablation to correct abnormal heart rhythm.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Electrical abnormalities
- Slow heart rhythms
- Arrhythmia ablation
- Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD)
- Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR)
- Lead extraction
- Leadless pacemaker insertion
- Left atrial appendage occlusion (Watchman™)
- Pacemaker insertion
- Radiofrequency ablation
Advanced Care Treatment Options Benefit You
Cardiac ablation is a delicate technique in which electrophysiologists thread catheters into the heart and apply heat or cold to scar tiny areas that are triggering a patient’s abnormal heart rhythm. Radiofrequency ablation burns the target tissue. With cryoablation, specialists freeze single, precise points of tissue. Cryoballoon ablation freezes a larger area, reducing the procedure time with effective results.
More and more cardiac patients rely on cardiac pacemakers or implanted defibrillators to keep their heart beating normally. Each device includes wires, or leads, that carry electrical pulses to the heart. If they malfunction because of age or cause infections, they must be removed.
If you need a lead extraction procedure, turn to Concord Hospital Cardiovascular Institute electrophysiologist Dr. Adam Chodosh for your care. Dr. Chodosh has specialized training to perform the procedure, which is performed in the operating room with a cardiac surgeon and team present in the rare case of complications.
WATCHMAN™ Procedure for AFib
If you have atrial fibrillation (AFib) you may be a candidate for WATCHMAN™ — a new device offering an effective alternative to blood thinners for AFib patients.
WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) is an implantable device that blocks the left atrial appendage, so blood doesn’t pool there and form blood clots that cause blockages or stroke. The tiny wire and mesh device is threaded through a blood vessel into the heart, where it blocks blood from entering the left atrial appendage.
If you can’t take blood-thinning medication, WATCHMAN is an effective alternative. It can help you in several ways. It reduces stroke risk if you’re unable to take blood thinners. If you do take blood thinners it can help you avoid Emergency Department visits because of uncontrolled bleeding. More importantly, even though it is impossible to cite specific numbers, doctors know the device has saved patients who otherwise would have had a stroke. Learn More
Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator ICD
Traditionally, implanted defibrillators that monitor and shock the heart into a normal rhythm are placed in the chest and require a wire, or lead, to go into the heart. In this technique, a defibrillator is implanted just beneath the skin, below the armpit, outside the rib cage. Its lead runs up the front of the breastbone, not into the heart. There are lower risks from the implant surgery, and specialists believe the device may last longer, especially for younger, more active patients.
Specialty Clinic Benefits You
The Arrhythmia Clinic at Concord Hospital Cardiology concentrates on treating patients with many different electrical issues in the heart. The most common is atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular, and often, very fast heart rate. The Clinic streamlines the process of getting patients in to see the doctor best suited to evaluate and treat their abnormal heart rhythm.
The Clinic's coordinator, a clinical nurse, evaluates patients who are referred for treatment from primary care physicians and advanced providers or who are have been admitted to the Hospital with new irregular heart rhythms. Based on her evaluation, she arranges appointments directly with electrophysiology specialists at Concord Hospital Cardiology, who correct electrical abnormalities in the heart that cause an irregular heartbeat.
If you rely on an implanted device to monitor the electrical activity of your heart, you can benefit from the services available through the Device Clinic at Concord Hospital Cardiology. The clinic offers a coordinated approach that keeps tabs on approximately 2,500 patients. About 95 percent of them are being monitored by devices that can send messages remotely. The Device Clinic team is comprised of specially trained nurses and medical assistants who coordinate your care with your cardiologist and electrophysiologist. The team’s work is supported by a sophisticated computer system that helps compile reports by organizing and storing the cardiac device transmissions and linking the data to a patient’s electronic medical record. Recent clinical studies have shown that a focus on remote monitoring can save lives. Remote monitoring has also been shown to decrease hospitalizations.