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Heart arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmias are disruptions in a regular heart rhythm, which can include slow, irregular or fast heart beats. They occur when the electrical impulses to the heart stray from their normal sequence and can range from being harmless to life-threatening.

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Electrophysiologists in Hudson, Florida

HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital is the proud home of the Arrhythmia Center of Florida.

Here, our staff is made up of skilled physicians and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to providing quality care for heart arrhythmias. Additionally, our hospital is equipped with the latest in advanced diagnostic and treatment technology for irregular heartbeats. This enables us to offer you the level of care and personalized treatments you deserve.

Heart arrhythmias we treat

We treat all types of heart arrhythmias as part of our complete cardiac services. Some examples of arrhythmias we treat include:

  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Atrial flutter
  • Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT)
  • Inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST)
  • Premature ventricular contraction (PVC)
  • Sinus arrhythmia
  • Sinus tachycardia
  • Sick sinus syndrome
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Ventricular tachycardia (VT)
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

Our heart arrhythmia treatments and services

Our Arrhythmia Center and specialists care for you throughout your diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Some of our offerings include:

Diagnostic services for cardiac arrhythmias

At our cardiac arrhythmia center, there are a range of diagnostic services available to identify heartbeat irregularities. We may suggest any of the following studies or procedures to determine if you have an arrhythmia:

  • Arrhythmia mapping: This is an advanced form of 3D imaging used to locate the site of a heart rhythm disturbance and aid in treatment during catheter placement.
  • Echocardiogram (echo): This imaging procedure uses ultrasound technology to produce images of the heart.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): This is a diagnostic test that uses electrodes placed on the chest to track the heart's electrical signals.
  • Electrophysiology (EP) study: This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a catheter is inserted through the blood vessels to the heart where the heart's electrical signals are recorded. An EP study can also medically induce an arrhythmia to track and visualize an irregular heartbeat if you experience symptoms intermittently.
  • Holter monitor: This external device continuously records each heartbeat.
  • Implantable loop recorder: This recording device is temporarily placed in the chest to record the heart rhythm and can be used for long-term remote monitoring.
  • Tilt table test: This test positions you at a tilted angle of 60 to 70 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes while the heart and blood pressure are constantly monitored.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): This specialized type of echocardiogram uses an ultrasound transducer, a type of probe, placed through the esophagus for a clear, detailed image of the heart.

Arrhythmia treatments

At our center, we also provide many different surgical heart procedures and other therapies to treat arrhythmias. These treatments include:

Medications

A variety of medications, including blood thinners, are available to treat different types of arrhythmias. Blood thinning medication is used to help prevent blood clots, which can lead to a stroke. Additional medications may be prescribed to treat symptoms or lower risk factors associated with heart arrhythmias, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

Lifestyle changes

We may recommend lifestyle changes as the sole treatment method for you. In other cases, lifestyle changes may be suggested following a procedure or to aid in the effectiveness of medication.

Cardiac ablation

This treatment scars the tissue in the heart that is causing irregular electrical activity. It is often a treatment option for:

  • AFib
  • Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia
  • Inappropriate sinus tachycardia
  • Premature ventricular contraction
  • Supraventricular tachycardia
  • Ventricular tachycardia
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)

During this procedure, a special type of pacemaker, called a biventricular pacer, is placed to help the right and left ventricles beat in sync.

Cardioversion

This procedure restores a normal heart rhythm by delivering an electrical shock to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest.

Convergent ("maze") procedure

This procedure creates scar lines on the outside of the heart that form a maze-like pattern to divert electrical signals that are causing an arrhythmia

Cryoablation

This form of ablation uses a decrease in temperature to freeze tissue and restore a normal heart rhythm.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

Similar to a pacemaker, this device monitors the heart's rhythm and delivers an electrical pulse when an irregularity is identified.

Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC)

This procedure reduces the risk of stroke if you have AFib and helps eliminate the need for long-term blood thinner usage. A device is implanted into the left atrial appendage, which is believed to be the main source of stroke-causing clots in people with AFib.

Pacemaker

This is an implantable device that monitors the heart rate and intervenes to maintain a proper heart rhythm when an irregularity is identified.

Radiofrequency ablation

This type of ablation uses an electrical current stimulated by radio waves to heat the area of the heart causing an arrhythmia and to neutralize the electrical disturbance.

Help preparing for an arrhythmia procedure

We want to ensure you are informed and prepared for your arrhythmia procedure. Some of the topics we will discuss during our appointments with you include:

  • Which medications you should stop or start taking before the procedure
  • What you should or shouldn't eat or drink before the procedure
  • Where you should check in on the day of the procedure
  • Where your family and friends may wait during the procedure

We encourage you to ask any other questions you may have. We ask that you arrive three hours prior to your scheduled procedure time. This allows ample time to fill out paperwork and prepare for your procedure. Please make sure all of your makeup, lotions and nail polish are removed.

Heart arrhythmias and their causes

Understanding arrhythmias can help you know what to watch out for and when to seek help. That's why we have summarized some important information about arrhythmias below.

What an arrhythmia is

A heart arrhythmia is a condition characterized by the presence of an abnormality in a person's heart rate or rhythm. A heart arrhythmia may cause the heart to beat too slow (bradycardia), too fast (tachycardia) or irregularly.


Causes of arrhythmias

Arrhythmias are caused by changes to the electrical pathways that run from the upper chambers to the lower chambers of the heart. They may vary in severity and can be caused by a number of different factors, such as lifestyle choices, medications and genetics. Additionally, some heart arrhythmias are congenital (present at birth).


Heart arrhythmia symptoms

If you have a heart arrhythmia, you may experience a racing heartbeat or a fluttering sensation in the chest or neck. Many people indicate that their heart seems to literally "skip a beat."

Other reported symptoms of heart arrhythmias include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

AFib

AFib is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and is characterized by a racing heartbeat, usually averaging between 300 to 600 beats per minute. It occurs when the atrioventricular (AV) node receives several electrical impulses at one time from the upper chambers of the heart.

When this occurs, the AV node only allows a few impulses to travel to the lower chambers of the heart. The result is a racing or chaotic heartbeat and an insufficient amount of blood being pumped throughout the body.

Sometimes AFib is a sign of an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy or a pulmonary embolism. If left untreated, AFib can contribute to other medical conditions, including blood clots and cerebrovascular accident (stroke).


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