Cardiac Arrhythmias Baytown
Heart’s natural pacemaker, Sinoatrial (SA) node, acts a timer and controls the rhythm and the number of times your heart beats per minute by sending organized electrical impulses through the electrcial conduction pathway of the heart. The term “arrhythmia” refers to any change from the normal sequence of electrical impulses or rhythm.
Sometimes palpitations are symptoms of arrhythmias. You might feel like your heart is racing, thumping or skipping beats. You might notice them during exercise, when youíre stressed or after having caffeine or nicotine.
If you have palpitations or feel you have an irregular heart beat, itís important to see Dr. Sami, a board certified cardiologist in Baytown, right away to find out the cause.
Cardiac arrhythmias include
- Premature beats: Early heart beat. It is the most common type of arrhythmia.
- Supraventricular tachycardias: Fast heart rates from the top chambers of the heart, including Atrial Fibrillation.
- Ventricular rhythm problems: Arrhythmias from the bottom chambers of the heart. This can somtime result in sudden cardiac arrest.
- Bradycardia: When the heart beatstoo slow, less than 60 beats per minute and sometime can cause you to pass out.
An arrhythmia occurs when:
The heart’s natural pacemaker develops an abnormal rate or rhythm.
The normal conduction pathway is interrupted.
Another part of the heart takes over as pacemaker.
Arrhythmias may not cause any signs or symptoms. In fact, Dr. Sami has diagnosed many arrhythmias before, during a routine examination, even before patient was aware of them.
The most common symptom is a quivering or fluttering heartbeat. Other symptoms may include:
- Heart palpitation — a thumping or racing heart, ‘butterflies in the chest’ or skipping beats
- Unusual weakness or tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- In extreme cases, collapse and sudden cardiac arrest
If you have any symptoms of Cardiac Arrhythmias, make an appointment with Dr. Shehzad Sami, a board certified cardiologist in Baytown, right away. Initial evaluation will include a detailed medical history and comprehensive physical exam.
Everyone should learn how to check their pulse. It is important to keep a detailed record of the day and time and any associated symptoms. This will help Dr. Sami gain further useful data regarding your symptoms and help in the diagnosis and treatment of your condition.
He may order an electrocardiogram (ECG), that records your heartís electrical activity. ECG may confirm the diagnosis of Cardiac Arrhythmia, as long as it’s performed during an episode.
Very commonly, a 24-hour portable ECG, a Holter Monitor, is needed if your symptoms and cardiac arrhythmia comes and goes and the resting ECG has not shown it.
If Holter monitor results are unrevealing or symptoms do not occur on a daily basis, Dr. Sami may recommend Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT). This test allows for longer term monitoring with the ability for patient or auto-triggered events based on algorithms. These monitoring devices help Dr. Sami determine if irregular heart rhythm is causing your symptoms and assure the right diagnosis.
Echocardiogram is an ‘ultrasound of the heart’ and is used to see the cardiac structures. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart, pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage.
Other tests include Exercise Treadmill Stress Test, Nuclear Cardiac Stress Test and Cardiac Catheterization or Coronary Angiogram.
Sometimes, Dr. Sami refers his patient for Electrophysiologic testing (EP Study). This specialized invasive procedure is needed to provoke known but infrequent arrhythmias and for unmasking suspected arrhythmias. It is usually performed by Cardiac electrophysiologists.
Treatment of arrhythmias depends on accurate and precise diagnosis of the underlying disease process. It may range from watchful waiting for harmless or benign arrhythmias to specialized medicines and invasive procedures with catheter ablation for more serious ones.
Here at Houston Cardiovascular Institute, Dr. Sami will first determine if your arrhythmia is abnormal and clinically significant, then will set an individualized treatment plan that works best for you.
Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications, invasive therapies, electrical devices or surgery.
Dr. Sami may recommend life style changes including smoking cessation, limiting alcohol and caffeine (coffee, tea and colas), and avoid using stimulants (some cold medicines, herbal and nutritional supplements).
Antiarrhythmic medications are used to convert the arrhythmia to a normal sinus heart rhythm. Other medications may include blood thinners to prevent blood clots and stroke, and heart rate-control medications.
Invasive therapies include Electrical cardioversion, Catheter-based ablation.
Symptomatic slow heart rate is treated with a Pacemaker. Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is used primarily for people at risk of life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms.
Contact Us Today:
If you or a loved one have any of the above symptoms or have been diagnosed with Cardiac Arrhythmias, make an appointment for an evaluation and to discuss various treatment options with Dr. Sami for ypur peace of mind. Remember, most arrhythmias are harmless, but some are extremely dangerous and require treatment and management.
Our main office is located at 6051 Garth Road, Suite 300, Baytown, TX 77521. Or you may contact us at 281-839-7949 to set up an appointment.