Common Symptoms & Services

Symptoms of abnormal heart rhythms may include:

  • Palpitations (heart racing, or sense of skipped or early heart beats)
  • Lightheadedness or fainting (otherwise known as syncope)
  • Neck fullness, chest discomfort, trouble breathing, or fatigue

Common heart rhythm problems, or arrhythmia diagnoses, include:

  • Fast heart rhythms (Tachycardia): Premature atrial contractions (PACs), premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia
  • Slow heart rhythms (Bradycardia): sick sinus syndrome, AV block in including complete heart block

Examples of arrhythmia services provided, upon consultation with a cardiac electrophysiologist:

  • Heart rhythm monitoring: Adhesive patches are placed on the chest in the office and attached to a cell-phone sized device. These provide recording and sometimes live-monitoring of one's heart rhythm, at home and during routine daily activities, for time periods ranging from 24hrs to 30 days, aiding in the diagnosis of specific heart rhythm problems
  • Cardiac Device Implantation: Including loop recorders, pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, and cardiac resynchronization devices, these medical devices are implanted under the skin in the hospital. Most have wires or 'leads' that attach to the inner heart chambers, and provide rhythm monitoring, as well as therapy through pacing or defibrillation that can be life-improving and even life-saving. Routine in-office and remote (home) follow-up for these cardiac devices is provided in our dedicated Cardiac Device Clinic.
  • Electrophysiologic study and catheter ablation: A diagnostic and often curative, minimally-invasive procedure for various fast heart rhythms (including SVT, Aflutter, Afib, PVCs, VT) that is performed in the hospital. This procedure involves studying the heart's natural electrical system through catheters placed in the heart but inserted in the groin area. Traditional fluoroscopy (low-level X-ray), combined with sophisticated 3D-mapping systems, and Orange County's only magnetically-guided catheter navigation system (Stereotaxis), allow for accurate localization of the source of an abnormal heart rhythm. Catheter ablation, or delivery of thermal energy to the arrhythmia source, then provides a curative approach in most cases.

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