Heart Arrhythmia

Dr. Alrich L. Gray // Central Montana Heart & Vascular Institute

Heart Arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats; there is a very wide array of different arrhythmias. Your heart may be beating too quickly (tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia), or irregularly. If you have an arrhythmia, you may be feeling:

  • A fluttering in your chest
  • A racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • A slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Fainting or near fainting

There are several treatment options for arrhythmias. Your doctor may prescribe medications that will keep your heart beating at a normal rhythm. He may also perform a procedure that will correct abnormal rhythms. One of these procedures is an electrical cardioversion, during which an electric shock is delivered to your heart through paddles. This shock will reset the rhythm of your heart to a normal one. The other possible procedure is a catheter ablation, during which he will use radiofrequency or cryo energy to modify the tissues in your heart that cause an abnormal rhythm. In addition to procedures, your doctor may also insert a device that can control and correct arrythmias. These devices will be placed underneath your skin and they send small electric shocks to your heart in the event of an arrhythmia. These devices include a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).