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Gulf Coast Cardiology Group PLLC

Cardiovascular Disease Specialists & Internal Medicine located in Port Arthur, TX

Any change in the beat of your heart is referred to as an arrhythmia, whether your beat is too slow, too fast, or erratic. Changes in the rhythm of your heartbeat may be harmless, but may also be a symptom of an underlying cardiac condition. At Gulf Coast Cardiology Group PLLC in Port Arthur, Texas, the expert cardiology team uses advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to assess and treat cardiovascular conditions like arrhythmia. For an evaluation, call the office or request an appointment using the online booking tool today.

Arrhythmia Q & A

What is an arrhythmia?

An arrhythmia refers to a heart rhythm problem and occurs when the electrical impulses that manage your heartbeat are no longer in sync. The changes in the rhythm may cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. 

The rhythm of your heart is controlled by your sinus node, or natural pacemaker, which produces an electrical impulse that initiates your heartbeat, triggering the right atrium in your heart to contract and pump blood to your ventricle.

The electrical impulse then moves to the atrioventricular node, which delays signaling to allow time for the ventricles to fill with blood, and then the electrical impulse moves to the ventricles to signal muscle contraction.    

With an arrhythmia, you may feel as though your heart is racing or fluttering. Though your arrhythmia may be harmless, it may also be a symptom of a more serious heart condition and should be evaluated. 

What are the types of arrhythmias?

Arrhythmias are classified into types based on whether they start in the atrium or ventricle of your heart and whether the rhythm change causes your heart to beat too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). Common types of arrhythmias include:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Sick sinus syndrome

If it feels as though your heart is skipping a beat, you may have a premature heartbeat, which is actually an extra heartbeat. Though not always serious, a premature heartbeat may lead to a long-term arrhythmia.  

How is an arrhythmia diagnosed?

Having an arrhythmia may not always cause symptoms, and it may not be discovered until your annual wellness exam. To determine the underlying cause of your arrhythmia, your doctor at Gulf Coast Cardiology Group conducts comprehensive evaluations using advanced diagnostic tools. 

During your exam, your doctor reviews your medical and family history, then performs a physical exam. To better understand the cause of your arrhythmia, your doctor may also request diagnostic imaging, such as a CT scan or PET scan. 

How is an arrhythmia treated?

Treatment for your arrhythmia may depend on the type of arrhythmia you have and the effects it has on your heart. In some cases, you may not need any treatment at all. However, your doctor at Gulf Coast Cardiology Group may recommend lifestyle changes to improve heart health.

If treatment is needed, your plan may include:

  • Pacemaker
  • Electrical cardioversion
  • Medication
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)

In some cases, surgery is necessary to correct the arrhythmia. Your doctor reviews the specifics of your treatment plan so you understand your diagnosis and the recommended treatment.

For a comprehensive evaluation for arrhythmia, call Gulf Coast Cardiology Group or use the convenient online booking tool today.