The occurrence of irregular heartbeat is called Cardiac Arrhythmia. This is a serious condition that can however be treated. When the electrical impulses in the heart, that actually coordinate the heartbeats, cease to function properly, the heart starts beating too fast, too slow or irregularly. This is called a cardiac arrhythmia.
Types of Arrhythmias: The types of arrhythmia include Paroxysmal Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia [PSVT], Atrial flutter, Atrial Fibrillation, Ventricular Tachycardia, Ventricular Fibrillation.
Causes of Arrhythmias: Some of the common causes for Cardiac arrhythmia are: Hypertension, Ischemic heart disease, Valvular heart disease, Cardiomyopathies, Sinus node disease, Tumors, Pericarditis, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Thyroid Disease, Alcohol abuse, Vagal stimulation, Smoking, stressful modern life styles etc.
Diagnosis: Doctors diagnose arrhythmias by ordering specific tests, depending on the type of the arrhythmia that is suspected. The doctor may also order:
- Electrocardiogram / Echocardiogram.
- 24 hour electrocardiogram using a device called Holter monitor.
- Electrophysiology Studies (EP Diagnostic Studies). These help to locate the origin of the rhythm disorder better and determine the best treatment.
Treatment of arrhythmia: Arrhythmia treatments are multipronged. They could include medication, medical procedures, and surgery. Treatment is required for cardiac arrhythmias only if the arrhythmia causes serious symptoms, such as dizziness, chest pain, or fainting or if it increases risk for heart failure, stroke or sudden cardiac arrest.
Micra - The World’s Smallest Leadless Pacemaker : Pacemaker send electrical pulses when the heart is beating too slowly and can adjust your heart rate based on your physical activity level. Unlike most pacemakers that are placed in the patient's chest with leads running to the heart, the mini is implanted directly into the patient’s heart.
A traditional pacemaker would require a lead to be inserted into your heart from the pacemaker in your chest. The leadless pacemaker is implanted inside the heart and does not require any pacing leads.
- Less invasive - it is placed in the heart via a vein in the leg, thus no chest incision, scar, or bump that results from conventional pacemakers
- Self-contained - it is completely self-contained within the heart. It eliminates potential medical complications arising from a chest incision and from wires running from a conventional pacemaker into the heart
- Smaller than conventional pacemakers, about the size of a large vitamin capsule (2 gms in weight)
- Eliminates scar on the chest
- Eliminates bulge on the chest
- Able to resume regular activities after implant (no activity restrictions to prevent dislodging of traditional pacemaker leads)
- No upper chest implant complications (a punctured lung which may require a tube to be inserted into the chest to re-inflate the lung, a blood clot in the subclavian vein)
- No pacing lead complications (lead moving from original place in the heart, lead breaking, lead infections, and lead not being connected to the device the right way)