Getting Your Heart Back in Rhythm

An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Your heart may beat too quickly, too slowly or erratically. Arrhythmias are common, and even children can have them. The abnormal rhythms may be harmless or life-threatening, depending on whether the upper or lower part of the heart is affected, and how well the heart is able to continue pumping blood.

Atrial fibrillation (A-Fib), is the most common form of arrhythmia and often occurs in people over the age of 65, however, patients as young as 13 are being treated.

A type of heart disease, arrhythmia causes our hearts to beat too fast, too slow or with an irregular rhythm. Even though there are more than a dozen forms of arrhythmia, only a handful of reasons typically cause them. A common cause is coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease that affects adults. An injury from a heart attack and changes in your heart muscle can also cause an arrhythmia.

How Does Arrhythmia Affect the Body?

How an arrhythmia affects the body depends on what type of arrhythmia it is. Watch Roger Muse, MD, cardiac electrophysiologist, explain how arrhythmias can be the first sign that a patient has heart disease.

Arrhythmia impacts the heart's ability to pump blood, says Charles Machell, MD. In this video, he explains the importance of blood flow and how it affects body tissue.

An electrical problem.

Many arrhythmias are due to a “short circuit” in the heart’s electrical system, which can be treated with catheter or “radiofrequency” ablation. In this minimally-invasive procedure, a series of catheters (small flexible wires) are put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin (upper thigh) or neck. A special machine sends energy to your heart through one of the catheters. The energy destroys small areas of heart tissue where abnormal heartbeats may cause an arrhythmia to start.

What does it mean when my heart flutters?

What is electrophysiologic testing and mapping?

What are some new developments in cardiac electrophysiology?

Are atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter the same thing?

What is electrophysiologic testing and mapping?

Why would I need a Holter monitor test?

What are the symptoms of a cardiac arrhythmia?

If my heart occasionally skips a beat, do I have arrhythmia?

What does an arrhythmia feel like?

What are simple cardiac ablations?

What is the success rate of cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation?

Are complex cardiac ablations an effective treatment for AFib?

What is atrial fibrillation (AFib)?

What kinds of implants are used to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib)?

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AFib)?

How does arrhythmia affect the body?

How does arrhythmia affect the body?

Keeping the beat.

At Methodist Heart, we are helping people from throughout South Texas overcome arrhythmias every day. The department of Electrophysiology has physicians on the medical staff who are all board-certified in internal medicine, cardiology, and electrophysiology, and who practice in our four full-time, advanced electrophysiology labs. A team of specially trained electrophysiology nurses and anesthesia providers will work with the electrophysiologist to provide your quality care. We diagnose the full spectrum of heart rhythm abnormalities, including but not limited to, AFib, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. We offer proven diagnostic and treatment options for cardiac arrhythmias.