Irregular heartbeat care in South Texas

Methodist Heart, Serving Humanity to Honor God

Heart arrhythmias, also known as irregular heartbeats, can have varying effects depending on the type of arrhythmia a patient is experiencing. The expert cardiologists and electrophysiologists throughout the Methodist Heart network offer advanced heart arrhythmia or electrophysiology treatments, including minimally invasive surgical options.

To learn more about heart arrhythmia treatment options call the Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355.

Heart arrhythmias are a type of heart disease and can increase a person's risk for cerebrovascular accident (stroke). We offer complete cardiac care at Methodist Healthcare, so no matter what type of arrhythmia you are experiencing, our specialists are here to help.

What is a heart arrhythmia?

A heart 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 type of heart arrhythmia and often occurs in people 65 years old and older, however, patients as young as 13 years old have been diagnosed with A-Fib.

What causes a heart arrhythmia?

Even though there are more than a dozen forms of arrhythmias, only a handful of reasons typically cause them. Common causes include a “short circuit”—or malfunction—in the heart’s electrical system, coronary artery disease (the most common type of heart disease that affects adults), damage from a heart attack or changes in your heart muscle.

Types of arrhythmias we treat

At Methodist Healthcare, we are helping people throughout South Texas overcome arrhythmias every day. We diagnose the full spectrum of heart rhythm abnormalities, including but not limited to:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Ventricular fibrillation

Heart arrhythmia treatment

Many treatment options are offered for heart arrhythmias, including heart and vascular surgical options, and will depend upon the type of arrhythmia you are experiencing. We offer:

  • Catheter, or radiofrequency, ablation—A minimally invasive procedure involving a series of catheters (small flexible wires) that 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.
  • Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) procedure —  A procedure to implant a device to reduce a patient's risk of stroke and blood clots. 
  • Pacemakers and biventricular pacemaker — A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that monitors the heart rate and sends electrical impulses to adjust the heart rate. It is typically used to treat patients with heart rates that are too slow.
  • Implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)—Used to treat abnormally fast heart rates, ICDs monitor and notice abnormal rhythms. When detected, they send a message to the heart to regulate the heart beat.
  • Loop Recorders— These devices are implanted into the front part of the patients chest to allow for long-term monitoring of dysrhythmias. This allows the electrophysiologist to ‘see’ what the heart activity has been for a period of time, up to 6 months. These can be implanted under the skin with a small incision, or implanted via a syringe type of delivery system. Generally, these are removed once the electrophysiologist obtains the data they need.

Methodist Heart also performs heart imaging services to identify heart rhythm issues, including interactive Echocardiogram 3D Imaging. Echocardiography is a major diagnostic tool for imaging the structure and function of the heart. Three-dimensional echocardiography is a cutting edge imaging technique used to obtain a detailed look at a patient’s heart in motion. These high definition images allow our provider to detect holes in the heart walls, problems with heart muscle contractions, and structural issues with heart valves.