Heart Rhythm Disorders
At the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, or highly trained staff use state-of-the-art technologies to diagnose, treat, and prevent problems affecting the rhythm of the heart including irregular heartbeats, slow or rapid heartbeats also known as arrhythmias, and prevention of sudden cardiac death. The center has an established arrhythmia ablation program in which complex atrial and ventricular treatments are available to eliminate the cause of irregular heartbeats. Our experienced heart rhythm specialists have performed hundreds of arrhythmia procedures with excellent outcomes, and, as part of a university hospital, researchers, professors, and physicians work together to offer patients world-class care.
The symptoms of heart rhythm disorders may include one or more of the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart palpitations (the feeling that your heart is beating too hard or too fast)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in the chest
- Passing out
Diagnoses of arrhythmias can be made non-invasively by an echocardiogram (ECG), a test that records the electrical activity of your heart, or by an event recorder which monitors the heart rhythm during an arrhythmia. In some cases, an implantable event recorder is helpful to make the right diagnosis.
UConn Health’s expansive electrophysiology lab is equipped with today’s most advanced imaging, monitoring and lighting equipment. This is where experts perform diagnostic studies as well as procedures including implanting devices and cardiac ablation.
Diagnostic Excellence: The Electrophysiology Study
During the electrophysiology study, special electrode-catheters are used together with pacing and recording techniques to pinpoint the source of arrhythmias within the heart. The special catheters provide computerized virtual maps of the electrical system of the heart. Doctors then identify the exact site of any electrical problems by testing electrical impulses before recommending treatment options.
- Drug treatment is often the first option for treating arrhythmias.
- Pacemakers are inserted into the patient’s heart and upper chest to provide a reliable heartbeat when the patient’s own rhythm is too fast, too slow, or irregular. UConn is one of the first hospitals in the Northeast to use a new technology which allows doctors to see inside the heart and blood vessels to facilitate implantation of biventricular pacemakers.
- Implantable cardiac defibrillator is a small device that is inserted into a patient’s heart and chest that monitors heart rhythm and delivers a shock if dangerous rhythms are detected.
- Cardiac ablation is a treatment which involves cauterizing tissue in the area of the heart that is causing irregular rhythms, often using radio frequencies. This procedure completely cures heart rhythm problems in about 95 percent of cases, restoring normal heart function and eliminating the need for open-heart surgery or long-term drug therapies.
Power of Possible
Watch how UConn Health’s electrophysiology experts at the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center are restoring normal heart function with the latest pacemaker technology for patients like Robert Dreier.
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