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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.


Electrophysiologists in Palm Beach County, Florida

At HCA Florida JFK Hospital, we provide comprehensive care for patients with irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).

An arrhythmia is caused by an abnormality in the electrical impulses that dictate your heart's rhythm. That is why our hospital is equipped with a specialized Electrophysiology Lab. Here, we offer advanced technology to correct abnormal heart rhythms.

Working together, our arrhythmia specialists offer a range of treatments, including both nonsurgical and surgical options, to ensure you get the care you need.

Types of arrhythmias we treat

There are several different types of heart arrhythmias. They include: 

  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib) (out of sync beats)
  • Tachycardia (too fast)
  • Bradycardia (too slow)
  • Premature ventricular contractions (extra beats)

Heart arrhythmia treatments we offer

Here, our electrophysiologists perform a wide range of treatments for irregular heartbeat, including:

Cardiac ablation

This type of procedure is used to treat AFib, supraventricular tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia. Using cardiac ablation, our electrophysiologists are able to correct heart rhythm problems by destroying scar tissue in the heart that is allowing the wrong electrical impulses.

Implantable devices

There are three types of implantable devices: pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and biventricular pacemakers. These devices provide electrical stimulation to the distinct areas of the heart that are causing an arrhythmia. They allow damaged or diseased hearts to maintain a normal heart rate.

Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) implant

Ours is among the first hospitals in the state of Florida, and the first in Palm Beach County and on the Treasure Coast, to offer patients with non-valvular AFib an alternative to long-term blood thinner medications. This treatment is an LAAC implant.

The LAAC implant closes off an area of the heart to keep harmful blood clots from the left atrial appendage from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the left atrial appendage, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, you may be able to stop taking warfarin.

Implanting the LAAC device is a one-time procedure that usually takes about an hour. Following the procedure, you typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.

Understanding arrhythmias

Understanding the symptoms and common arrhythmias can help you know what questions you might need to ask your doctor.

Symptoms of a heart arrhythmia

Symptoms are not always the same for different types of arrhythmias, but often include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fluttering feeling in the chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Noticeable slowing or quickening of the heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath


AFib is known to lead to complications such as blood clots and heart failure. Specifically, AFib occurs when the upper two chambers of the heart (the atria) are beating out of sync with the lower two chambers of the heart (the ventricles). Often, AFib does not present any symptoms but can cause shortness of breath, fatigue and heart palpitations.

People with AFib have a significantly greater risk of having a cerebrovascular accident (stroke). It can also cause blood to pool and form clots in the left atrial appendage.

Typically, treatment for AFib may include:

  • Blood thinners, like warfarin, to prevent the formation of blood clots
  • Cardiac electrophysiology procedures, like ablation
  • Implants to close the left atrial appendage

AFib patient testimonial - JFK Hospital

Pasquale Benasillo was battling heart issues including Atrial Fibrillation that left him bed-ridden until he met with Dr. Robert Fishel and the Heart Arrhythmia team at JFK Hospital. Now, Pasquale and his wife are always on the go, and he's feeling better than ever. Hear Pasquale's health journey in this video.
Pasquale Benasillo

Dr. Robert Fishel – JFK Hospital – Radio frequency ablation treatment – Full case

Dr. Fishel discusses and shows the full radio frequency ablation treatment.
Dr. Robert Fishel demonstrates Radio Frequency Ablation

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