Electrophysiology Treatment Options for Rhythm Disturbances/A-fib
New treatments for arrhythmias offer less invasive treatments for electrical heart problems, and can improve survival and quality of life for patients with severe heart disease.
Treatment options for arrhythmias include medications, pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, (ICDs) and more advanced therapies such as radiofrequency ablation and minimally invasive surgery.
Thanks to recent advances brought to St. Vincent’s by its surgeons and cardiologists, a minimally invasive or “mini-maze” cardiac surgery can now be coupled with another cutting edge non-surgical procedure known as trans-catheter ablation (TCA). This combination procedure is knows as Hybrid Ablation.
Cardiovascular Services Chief Rafael Squitieri , MD, and Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab Medical Director Joseph Tiano, MD, FACC, are leading the way in the correction of a-fib, or atrial fibrillation, using Hybrid Ablation. Click in to learn more about Hybrid Ablation.
Additional Treament Options for A-Fib
- Prescription Medications help to to control the heart’s rhythm. Blood thinning medications help to prevent a stroke.
- A pacemaker is a small device, about the size of a pocket watch, that is placed under the skin near your heart to help control your heartbeat. People may need a pacemaker for a variety of reasons , but mostly due to an abnormal heart rhythm.
- ICD: You may need an ICD, a pager-sized device implanted in your chest, if you have a dangerously fast heartbeat (ventricular tachycardia) or a chaotic heartbeat that does not permit your heart to supply enough blood to the rest of your body (ventricular fibrillation). ICDs work by continuously monitoring your heartbeat , detecting and stopping dangerous, abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias, and delivering electrical shocks to restore a normal heart rhythm when necessary.
- Radiofrequency Ablation-Trans-catheter ablation is a non-surgical technique that employs a catheter or tube to reach the heart where radio frequency is then used to disrupt the electrical impulses that cause atrial fibrillation, a rhythm disorder.
- Biventricular Device Implants-These implants improve the symptoms of congestive heart failure and overall quality of life in certain patients with severe symptoms that aren't controlled with medication.
- “Mini-Maze” Minimally Invasive Surgery-The latest ”mini-maze” (short for minimally invasive ) surgery performed in the OR at St. Vincent’s is totally thorascopic, or performed through endoscopes or flexible tubes inserted into two keyhole incisions on each side of the chest. A tiny camera and video-guided instruments are then inserted into the endoscopes to reach the heart and create a maze-like pattern of scarring or ablation with radio frequency energy. This interrupts the electrical impulses that initiate A-fib.
Comprehensive A-fib Program
St. Vincent’s is the only hospital not just in the state but in the tri-state area to offer a comprehensive program with both the non-surgical and "5-box TT Maze" minimally invasive surgery treatments to correct atrial fibrillation, also known as rapid or irregular heartbeat. Learn more about St. Vincent's comprehensive A-fib program.
EP studies, pacemaker and ICD placement, and trans-catheter ablation are all performed in our state-of-the-art Electrophysiology Lab (EP Lab).
St. Vincent’s is one of a few area hospitals to offer an EP laboratory that is nationally certified to meet stringent quality standards.
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To speak with a St. Vincent's Care Line representative, call (877) 255-7847
To speak with somone at the front desk of the Medical Center, please call (203) 576-6000
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