Electrophysiology and Device Implants
It’s not just love that makes your heart skip a beat; it can be a sign of a serious condition. Besides sometimes skipping a beat, the heart may beat too slowly or beat a few too many times. In these cases, the Electrophysiology Department at the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital can help. We diagnose and treat heart rate or rhythm abnormalities, called arrhythmias. Some of the tools we use when assessing your condition include:
• CHAD scoring - assesses stroke risk associated with arrhythmia
• Echocardiogram - sound waves create a moving picture of the heart
• Electrocardiogram (ECG) - measures the electrical activity of the heart
• Sleep apnea questionnaire
At the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, electrophysiology mapping is used to find the source of electrical problems within the heart. Electrophysiologists use advanced imaging and diagnostic catheter technology to create a 3-D "map" of electrical activity within the patient's heart. Once the source of an irregular heartbeat has been located it can be treated through ablation, ICD or medication.
Ablation is a therapeutic procedure performed via surgery or minimally invasive catheterization that destroys targeted heart tissue to block or eliminate irregular heartbeats.
Some arrhythmias require an implanted device to keep the heart beating in a healthy rhythm. At the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, the types of devices we implant include:
• Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) - attaches to the heart via leads, and, when necessary, delivers electrical shocks restoring normal heart rhythm
• Pacemaker - placed under the skin in your chest or abdomen, it regulates a heartbeat that is too fast, too slow or irregular
• Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) – a special "biventricular" pacemaker which delivers electrical energy that causes the two unsynchronized ventricles to beat simultaneously again
Device implantation is often an outpatient procedure, although you may need to spend a night or two with us.