Arrhythmias | Diagnosis and Treatment

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How is an arrhythmia diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, there are several different tests that may be used to diagnose arrhythmias, including:

What are the treatment options for an arrhythmia?

Not all arrhythmias need treatment, especially those that don’t cause any symptoms. However, when the arrhythmia causes symptoms, there are several options for treatment, including:

  • lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and avoiding caffeine
  • medications may help lower some fast heartbeats or correct irregular heart patterns
  • cardioversion, a small electrical shock, to help stop certain fast arrhythmias
  • ablation, which uses a small, thin tube called a catheter placed into the heart through a blood vessel in the groin or arm to heat or freeze the tissue around the area of the arrhythmia
  • a pacemaker, a small device placed under the skin that sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a small device similar to a pacemaker that is implanted under the skin that senses the rate of the heartbeat and delivers a small electrical shock to the heart if the heartbeat is too fast

If none of these treatments work, your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure (ablation or MAZE procedure).

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