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Arrhythmias and Heart Palpitations

Condition

Heart arrhythmias is a term describing all possible problems with the heart rhythm and heart rate.

What are Heart Arrhythmias/Palpitations?

Heart Palpitations, put simply, are the symptoms of arrhythmias, the awareness of your heartbeat. Arrhythmias is the common term used for all existing problems with heart rate and heart rhythm. There are many different conditions causing our heartbeat and rhythm to change, with different causes and different treatment methods.

 

Palpitations are the symptom of arrhythmias, often described as a sensation of pounding, fluttering, beating irregularly or missing beats. These may occur for only a few seconds, some minutes or longer periods of time. In most patients, palpitations are usually harmless and are not a sign of a problem with your heart. 

Arrhythmias condition

In some circumstances, palpitations may be associated with other symptoms such as dizziness, loss of consciousness, chest pains or breathlessness and in this situation, or if symptoms are recurrent without a clear cause, early assessment with a cardiologist should be sought.

The most common arrhythmias causing palpitations are:

  • Atrial Fibrillation

  • Atrial Flutter

  • Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

  • Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)

  • AVRT/AVNRT

  • Extra beats

  • Bradycardia

  • Tachycardia

 

What causes heart Arrhythmias/ Palpitations?

Arrhythmias and palpitations may be triggered by stress, anxiety, exercise, drinking excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol, smoking, infections, fever and using recreational drugs.

 

In some cases, palpitations can be triggered by certain medications or an overactive thyroid gland or as a result of hormonal changes that occur during periods, pregnancy or menopause.

 

What are the symptoms of Arrhythmias/palpitations?

  • fast heartbeat

  • slow heartbeat

  • strong heartbeat

  • skipped heart beats

  • irregular, fast heartbeat felt way up to the throat

  • exertional shortness of breath or chest pain

  • dizziness, general weakness, tiredness and fainting

  • funny feeling as if the entire body were shaking, especially the abdominal area

What assessment will I need if I have Palpitations?

  • Resting ECG

  • Minimum 24 Hour-Holter ECG monitoring

  • Transthoracic Echocardiography

  • Bicycle Stress Test

  • Implantable, subcutaneous ECG monitor

In certain cases, EP-studies (Electrophysiologic studies, minimally invasive) may be necessary to induce the arrhythmia causing palpitations. The goal is to localize the arrhythmogenic defect area inside the heart  thus establishing the exact diagnosis. During the same procedure we will proceed with ablation therapy in order to eliminate the arrhythmia

 

What are the treatments of Arrhythmias/ Palpitations?

Treatment varies significantly depending on the diagnosed arrhythmia causing the palpitations. Medication may be sufficient in certain cases.

Further interventions may be:

  • Electric cardioversion

  • Ablation therapy, cryoablation or radiofrequency ablation

  • Insertion of pacemakers or defibrillators

 

What intervention/treatment does CardioCare offer for Arrhythmias?

At CardioCare cardiology clinic Marbella we perform all diagnostic studies and the complete array of therapeutic procedures.

 

Our EP-lab is equipped for minimally invasive radioablation therapy and cryoablation therapy as well as for the insertion of all implantable devices, pacemakers and defibrillators from leading medical manufactures like ABBOTT, BIOTRONIK, MEDTRONIC, BOSTON SCIENTIFIC.

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