Heart Rhythm Disorders are treated by a specialty called Electrophysiology (EP). EP is a branch of cardiology that examines the electrical function of the heart. The four chambers of your heart are connected by an intricate electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat.
Regular, rhythmic electrical impulses cause the heart to beat. A healthy heart beats about 60 to 100 times per minute and may beat faster during exercise or slower during sleep. EP doctors treat patients whose heart rhythms are causing symptoms or illness. Heart rhythm problems can lead to a number of different symptoms including shortness of breath, pounding heartbeat, fluttering in the chest, lightheadedness or even fainting.
An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Interruptions in the heart’s rhythm may occur in a healthy heart or may indicate a serious problem. Electrophysiologists diagnose the causes of arrhythmias using non-invasive tools (holter monitors, event recordin, stress tests, etc.) or an invasive procedure called an EP study.
Depending on the severity of the problem, either continued observation, medication, or occasionally ablation procedures are used to improve a patient’s heart rhythm problems.