Heart Rhythm Management

When the heart’s electrical impulses aren’t timed properly, heartbeats can be too fast, too slow, or in an abnormal pattern. Treating irregular heart rhythms, or cardiac arrhythmias, is important because they can affect the quality of your life and cause serious health complications such as stroke or sudden death.

When Your Heart Doesn’t Keep the Beat

The heart’s electrical system coordinates the motion of the four heart chambers. When the electrical impulses fire abnormally, heart rhythm problems results. These conditions can range from minor, benign heart beat irregularities to life-threatening disorders. Arrhythmias become more common as we age. Electrophysiology is the study of heart rhythm abnormalities. Electrophysiologists are cardiologists with advanced training who diagnose specific conditions, and determine effective treatment plans.

Signs of a Heart Arrhythmia

Some arrhythmias come and go, and may be responsible for these symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Fluttering feelings in the chest
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Palpitations or racing heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Stroke

Commonly Treated Arrhythmias

There are several types of arrhythmias with numerous possible causes. Electrophysiology studies are often the first step in diagnosing the irregular heart rhythm and determining the best treatment option. Cardiac arrhythmias include:

Managing Arrhythmias

Medication and life style changes are often considered the first lines of treatment. However, many patients find success with drug therapy and behavior modification to be limited.

Premier Health offers patients a variety of treatment options to manage their arrhythmias.

Cardiac Resynchronization

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is treatment that may help when the heart isn’t pumping as well as it should. With CRT, a small electrical device (pacemaker or defibrillator) is put under the skin in the upper chest. This is a minor surgical procedure done at a hospital. It is not heart surgery. Wires from the device lead to the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart. The device sends electrical pulses to each ventricle at the same time. This keeps the ventricles beating in sync. The type of device used depends on the person’s needs. Biventricular pacemakers is one type of CRT, and is used to help the heart beat at a normal rate.

Pacemaker services are offered at: Atrium Medical Center, Miami Valley Hospital, and Upper Valley Medical Center.

Another type of cardiac resynchronization therapy is provided with Biventricular Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD). A Biventricular ICD is a pacemaker but also can treat fast, life-threatening heart rhythms.

Biventricular ICD services are offered at: Atrium Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital.

Cardioversion

Cardioversion is a procedure that is done to return an erratic heartbeat to a normal rhythm. It is not the same as defibrillation. Both use shocks to reset the heart, but defibrillation uses a stronger shock to change a severe arrhythmia that can cause sudden death. A cardioversion is usually done as a scheduled procedure. A chemical cardioversion uses medication given through an IV or by mouth to change the heart’s rhythm. During an electrical cardioversion, medication is used to let the patient sleep through the procedure, but a low-energy shock is sent to the heart to restore it to a normal rhythm.

Biventricular ICD services are offered at: Atrium Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital.

Cardiac Ablation

Cardiac ablation is used to eliminate the electrical sources that cause erratic heartbeats. During a cardiac ablation, a wire is guided into the heart to destroy the small areas of heart tissue that may be causing the abnormal heartbeats. Heat (radiofrequency) or cold energy (cryoablation) are the two most common ways to destroy abnormal heart tissue. Cardiac ablation is an alternative to long-term or lifelong medication therapy. It is also an option when medicine fails to control the heart rhythm problem.

Cardiac ablations services are offered at: Atrium Medical CenterMiami Valley Hospital, and Upper Valley Medical Center.

Advanced Technologies to Correct an Irregular Heartbeat

Besides traditional ablation procedures, Premier Health offers these advanced technologies to correct an erratically beating heart:

“Cool” Technology to Treat Arrhythmias

The Arctic Front Advance™ Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter System is a minimally invasive catheter balloon ablation system that uses "cryo” or freezing energy rather than heat to disable heart tissue that causes atrial fibrillation. Tissue that comes in contact with the cold balloon will scar, and may no longer spread the electrical currents that cause arrhythmias. The balloon design offers the ability to treat larger areas of tissue simultaneously and does not require the use of complex mapping systems. This simpler form of ablation has been found to be effective in treating paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF), in which A Fib symptoms come and go. Watch an animated video that depicts the cryoballoon ablation procedure.

 

Cryoballoon ablation services are at Atrium Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital.

Pinpoint Accuracy with Stereotaxis

Stereotaxis is a robotic-assisted magnetic navigation system designed for the diagnosis and treatment of both common and complex arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. It combines the benefits of precise, computer-aided guidance through delicate, often hard-to-reach regions of the heart with soft, flexible catheters. This further enhances the safety of ablation and reduces radiation exposure. Once in position, tiny electrical pulses are administered to correct the arrhythmia and return the heart to a healthy rhythm. Watch an animated video that depicts the Stereotaxis procedure.

 

Premier’s Stereotaxis program is offered at Miami Valley Hospital.

Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Prevention

Atrial fibrillation (A Fib) is the most common of all arrhythmias. While some people with A Fib experience no symptoms, everyone with the condition is at increased risk for stroke. StopAfib.orgOff Site Icon reports that one-third of patients with atrial fibrillation will actually experience a stroke.

Traditionally, stroke risk has been managed with warfarin anticoagulation therapy has been used to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke associated with atrial fibrillation. Warfarin increases the risk of bleeding complications, limits activities for those taking the medication, and is not always well tolerated.

Premier Health is the first to bring another option to Dayton for those patients considered suitable to use warfarin by their physicians, but have reason to find an alternative. It’s called the WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Device. No larger than a quarter, it is implanted in the heart and reduces the risk of stroke. Over time, patients may be able to stop taking their warfarin medication. Watch an animated video to watch how this device is implanted.

 

Premier Health offers the WATCHMAN Device program at Atrium Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital.

Questions of the Heart

Premier Health electrophysiologists answer frequently asked questions about heart health and heart rhythm management. Watch their videos or read the transcripts.

  • The Beat Goes On: What causes our hearts to beat fast, slow, steady, or erratic? It’s an internal electrical system. Learn about your heart’s rhythm.
  • All about A Fib: Atrial fibrillation (A Fib) is the most common type of irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). What is important to know?

Don’t Give Your Heart to Just Anyone. Trust Premier Health

With as much compassion as we have commitment, facilities located throughout the region, and an extensive, experienced physician network Premier Health offers award-winning, quality care close to home. For more information about our heart rhythm management services or other cardiovascular programs call (937) 499-7472(937) 499-7472.

Content Updated: December 28, 2018

These Premier Health locations offer Cardiology Services.
Each location may offer different or additional services, so contact a location below to learn more about the specific services they offer.
2619 Commons Blvd. Suite 102 Beavercreek, OH  45431
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