Heart arrhythmia treatment in Nashville, Tennessee

TriStar Health is home to skilled cardiologists and cardiac specialists who provide excellent heart care, including advanced diagnostics and treatment options for heart arrhythmias. We focus on noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures to help the hearts of patients in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky beat in a regular rhythm.

For a free physician referral or more information, call TriStar MedLine® at (800) 242-5662.

What is a heart arrhythmia?

An arrhythmia is a medical condition that causes an irregular heartbeat because of electrical impulses occurring inconsistently, too quickly or too slowly. Without treatment, this disruption in blood flow to vital organs may cause damage or even death.

Arrhythmias may be the result of a congenital (present at birth) anomaly or acquired later in life. Among others, conditions that may cause an arrhythmia include coronary artery disease, electrolyte imbalance in the blood or high blood pressure. At times, an arrhythmia can occur without a known cause in an otherwise healthy heart.

Diagnosing arrhythmias

Our cardiology teams collaborate to provide excellent adult and pediatric cardiology care. One of the ways in which we do this is by diagnosing and creating individualized treatment plans for patients with arrhythmias.

Our medical professionals use Holter monitors as one method of diagnosis for heart arrhythmias, which record heart rhythms for 24-48 hours during normal, waking activities. Electrodes are attached to the chest and the device, which is a portable electrocardiogram (ECG), is taped to the body.

We also offer electrophysiology studies to understand what is causing irregular beats. For example, cardiac mapping is an alternative option that offers a non-invasive approach to find the source of the arrhythmia using a vest with hundreds of electrodes.

Types of arrhythmias we treat

There are several types of arrhythmias, each producing a different heartbeat pattern due to different electrical impulse rhythms firing in the heart.

A healthy heart typically pumps between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). A slow heartbeat, at a rate below 60 bpm, is referred to as bradycardia. A fast heartbeat, more than 100 bpm, is referred to as tachycardia. A heartbeat below 60 bpm that is caused by a dysfunction with the muscle cells that send signals to the heart is referred to as bradyarrhythmia.

Additionally, there are several other arrhythmias that occur either in the lower chamber (ventricles of the heart) or in the upper chamber (atria of the heart).

We treat all types of arrhythmias, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
  • Atrial flutter
  • Brachycardia
  • Bradyarrhythmia
  • Heart block
  • Long QT syndrome (LQTS)
  • Premature atrial contractions (PACs)
  • Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)
  • Sinus node dysfunction (sick sinus syndrome)
  • Tachycardia, such as:
    • Accessory pathway tachycardia (bypass tract tachycardia)
    • Atrial tachycardia
    • Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT)
    • Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
    • Sinus tachycardia
    • Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach)
  • Torsades de Pointes
  • Ventricular fibrillation (VFib)

Arrhythmia treatment

Many arrhythmias are left untreated because they may not cause any problematic symptoms or increase the risk of developing a more dangerous arrhythmia.

However, if there is a risk for complications with the heart’s processes, patients may be provided treatment options such as:

  • Pharmaceutical drugs - anti-arrhythmic drugs work to prevent arrhythmia; anticoagulants reduce the risk of a blood clot and other drugs to control heart rate
  • Devices - pacemakers and defibrillators, used to maintain a regular heartbeat, are implanted inside the body; pacemakers send electrical impulses to the heart, typically when it beats too slowly, and defibrillators detect irregular beats to deliver a shock to the heart, typically when it beats too fast
  • Procedures - certain arrhythmias require cardiovascular surgery or a cardiac catheterization procedure, such as ablation, to stop electrical impulses from affecting the heart