Our services for heart rhythm conditions include consultation with patients, investigations, ablation treatments and pacemaker implants.
The procedures that we use for the heart rhythm conditions that patients present with are detailed below, and include: Ablation, Cryoblation, Atrial Fibrillation Ablation, Atrial Flutter Ablation, Cardiac Catheterisation, Electrophysiological Studies, Heaet Rhythm Monitoring, Pacemakers and Supraventricular Tachycardia Ablation.
For complex procedures we believe that the best results are achieved with the skills of of two of our consultants working together. Our five cardiac consultants are highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm problems. Click here to find out more about them.
This is a general term that describes some of the procedures that we perform. Ablation is the process that modifies small parts of the heart muscle that are responsible for the abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations. Usually this is done by heating the area using radiofrequency at the end of a catheter that is placed in contact with the heart muscle.
Atrial Fibrillation Ablation
Atrial fibrillation ablation is a procedure that is performed on the heart to treat atrial fibrillation. The intention is to improve the symptoms of atrial fibrillation by completely abolishing the abnormal rhythm or in some cases by making the atrial fibrillation less frequent so that tablets will work better.
Atrial Flutter Ablation
This procedure is undertaken to cure atrial flutter by ablating in the right atrium. It is a simpler procedure than atrial fibrillation ablation and usually takes less time to perform.
Cardiac catheterisation is a diagnostic procedure that is used to assess different components of the heart. A complete procedure includes imaging of the coronary vessels (the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle), measuring the function of the left ventricle, measuring the pressures within all the different heart chambers and the major blood vessels attached to the heart.
Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy
Cardiac resynchronisation therapy is used in patients in whom the pump function of the heart is severely diminished and they have heart failure.
The majority of our ablation procedures use radiofrequency to heat the abnormal heart muscle to modify it. The alternative method is to use freezing technology called cryotherapy. Theoretically cryotherapy can be used for most abnormal heart heart rhythm disturbances that we ablate but in our experience we tend to use cryoabltion … Read More
Direct Current Cardioversion
In some situations abnormal heart rhythms can be stopped by resetting the heart electrical system. This is done by delivering a short shock of electricity across the chest.
An electrophysiological study is an invasive procedure that is undertaken to determine the cause of the abnormal heart rhythms. The procedure is performed with sedation, local anaesthetic and intravenous painkillers.
Heart Rhythm Monitoring
This is a test that records the heart rhythm over a period of time, usually from 24 hours to 72 hours continuously. A few self adhesive electrodes are attached to the skin and the wires are connected to a small box about the size of a portable music player.
Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator
An ICD is similar to a pacemaker and has the same basic functions. However, this device is able to detect abnormal and dangerous heart rhythms. Once these heart rhythms have been detected the device will be able to stop them by either pacing the heart rapidly for a short period or alternatively if this is not successful then it will deliver a high energy shock to reset the heart.
Implantation of a Loop Recorder
In some situations symptoms are infrequent and thus even a week of heart rhythm monitoring may not be long enough. In these cases an implantable loop recorder may be surgically placed under the skin on the chest. The device that is implanted is the size of a small cigarette lighter and is introduced through a small incision in the skin usually less than an inch long.
Implantation of a Permanent Pacemaker
If the heart rate is too slow then a pacemaker may be implanted to speed up the heart rate. A pacemaker is a device that is implanted under the skin, usually on the left side below the collar bone.
Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion
Percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion, sometimes abbreviated as LAAO, is a keyhole procedure developed to close a small part of the heart called the appendage. The left atrial appendage is responsible for causing the majority of strokes in patients that have atrial fibrillation. During normal heart rhythm the heart contracts … Read More
Loop Heart Rhythm Recording
This test is similar to continuous ECG monitoring except that the monitoring period can be a lot longer. During this test the heart rhythm is recorded for a few minutes and then this is erased and the recorder writes then next few minutes (thus loop recording).
A pacemaker is device that is implanted when the heart rate or pulse is too slow. The pacemaker has wires that are attached to the heart muscle and in this way can deliver a small stimulus that will allow the heart to beat.
Supraventricular Tachycardia Ablation
This is the most common ablation procedure performed and usually follows an electrophysiology study.