Irregular heartbeat care in Wichita
An irregular heartbeat, or heart arrhythmia, occurs when the heart’s electrical system does not work properly. Wesley Healthcare’s electrophysiologists in Wichita diagnose arrhythmias and provide a wide range of treatments.
For more information about heart arrhythmia care, please call (316) 962-3627.
Typically, electrical signals travel through the heart in a regular pattern, but some factors can cause the heart to beat irregularly. Heart attacks, aging and high blood pressure may cause scarring of the heart. This scarring can cause the heart to beat in an irregular pattern. Congenital heart defects may also cause heart arrhythmias.
Types of heart arrhythmias
Our heart care specialists treat all types of arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are typically categorized by where they originate in the heart and the speed of the irregular heartbeat:
- Lower chamber: Ventricular
- Upper chamber: Supraventricular
- Heart beats too fast: Tachycardia
- Heart beats too slow: Bradycardia
Atrial fibrillation (A-fib)
Atrial fibrillation, commonly called A-fib, is a common heart arrhythmia. With A-fib, the heart’s two upper chambers beat out of coordination with the two lower chambers. If left untreated, blood clots may form in the heart, which could block blood flow. Symptoms of A-fib may include weakness, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
People with A-fib are at an increased risk for stroke and may need to take medication to decrease their risk. Please visit our stroke page to learn about an alternative to the long-term use of medication to prevent stroke in A-fib patients.
An electrophysiology study also called an EP study, allows your doctor to evaluate your heart’s electrical system and check for heart arrhythmias.
EP studies help doctors see where an arrhythmia is coming from, what medicines or procedures might work best to treat the arrhythmia, as well as if the patient might be at risk for additional heart problems.
During the EP study, an electrophysiologist inserts a small catheter into an artery in your wrist, arm or groin and guides the catheter to your heart. Small electrical pulses are delivered through the catheter so that your heart beats at different rhythms. Your heart’s signals are recorded, which allows the doctor to identify where the arrhythmia occurs.
Patients can usually resume their usual daily activities within a few days after the procedure. Bruising at the insertion point is normal and the site may be sore for several days.
Risks of an EP study
There can be some complications with an EP study, including damage to your blood vessels and heart, damage to your heart's electrical system that could worsen an arrhythmia, bleeding and infection at the insertion point, stroke, heart attack and blood clots (venous thromboembolism).
Discuss the risks and benefits of an EP study with your doctor to determine if the study is right for you.
Treatment options for heart arrhythmias may include:
- Pacemaker implantation
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
- Cardiac ablation surgery