- An Integrated Approach to Diagnosing and Treating Complex Arrhythmias
Loyola’s Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine is one of the leading centers in the area for diagnosis and treatment of complex heart rhythm disorders. Loyola cardiologists Peter Santucci, MD, (left) and Smit Vasaiwala, MD, who have special training in electrophysiology, offer treatment options that may be unavailable elsewhere.
Heart Rhythm Disorders
Integrative Approach to Diagnose and Treat Heart Rhythm Disorders
Complex heart rhythm disorders are one of the many cardiac conditions diagnosed and treated by the highly skilled doctors at Loyola Medicine. Serving as a major regional and national referral center for the treatment of complex heart rhythm disorders, Loyola offers treatment options that are often unavailable elsewhere.
Our multidisciplinary team of leading cardiac electrophysiologists, advanced practice nurses, technical staff, imaging experts and other professionals provides an integrated approach to the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of rhythm disturbances and their associated underlying conditions.
Your heart rhythm is normally controlled by your SA node (sinoatrial node), which sends impulses to your AV node (atrioventricular node). When these impulses are not functioning properly, irregular heartbeats (called arrhythmias) create a disturbance in heart contractions, leading to inefficient pumping of blood to the body. Although there are several types of arrhythmias, they may be classified into four main categories:
- Bradycardia — Slow heart rhythms caused by the slow generation of electrical impulses or the blocking of impulse propagation. Bradycardia can be caused by a heart attack, a chemical imbalance or certain medications.
- Tachycardia — Rapid heart rhythms that exceed normal resting heart rate
- Supraventricular arrhythmia — Begin above the ventricles, in the atria, or in the atrioventricular node. Types of supraventricular arrhythmias include atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib), atrial flutter, atrial tachycardia, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) and Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome.
- Ventricular arrhythmia — Begin in the lower heart chamber (ventricles). Types of ventricular arrhythmias include ventricular fibrillation (VF or VFib) and ventricular tachycardia.
Loyola provides expertise in all kinds of complex heart arrhythmias and offers you the following programs for diagnosis and care:
- Arrhythmias in children
- Atrial fibrillation management
- Cardiac arrhythmia device program
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy management
- Sudden death prevention
Why Choose Loyola for Treatment of Heart Rhythm Disorders?
Loyola’s cardiology and heart surgery program is nationally recognized for our diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions. We work with you to help you understand your condition and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Loyola’s heart rhythm specialists are frequently at the forefront of new technology innovations for the treatment of patients, including magnetically guided catheter ablation, cryoablation and clinical trials.
Loyola is committed to working with even the youngest of patients. Children can be born with cardiac arrhythmias (congenital disorders) caused by a birth defect of the heart or they may acquire this condition even with normal formation of the heart. Loyola offers children who demonstrate symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia evaluation by expert pediatric electrophysiologists.
How are Heart Rhythm Disorders Diagnosed?
Doctors at Loyola are skilled at recognizing the symptoms of complex heart arrhythmia, which may include:
- A quiver in your chest
- Chest pain
- Fast pulse rate
- Shortness of breath
Your symptoms, combined with a complete medical history and physical exam, may indicate the presence of heart arrhythmias. If you doctor suspects an arrhythmia, you may undergo any of the following additional testing to accurately diagnose your condition:
- Cardiac stress test
- Electrophysiology study
- Holter monitor and event recording
- Implantable loop recorder
Throughout the diagnostic process, Loyola is committed to your compassionate care.
How are Heart Rhythm Disorders Treated?
Treatments for heart rhythm disorders can range from medication management to surgical management requiring light sedation. Your Loyola team will evaluate your specific condition and make recommendations that will provide the best outcomes for you. Your treatment options may include: