Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)
Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are irregular heartbeats that originate in the lower chambers of your heart. These irregular contractions occur earlier than they normally should, and after the early heartbeat, a longer than usual pause occurs before the next heartbeat. PVCs briefly disrupt your regular heart rhythm at random periods of time or over constant intervals. Some symptoms of PVCs include:
- Fluttering, pounding, or jumping heartbeat
- Skipped heartbeats
- Increased awareness of your heartbeat
- Discomfort in the chest or neck
To treat PVCs, your doctor may adjust your medication routine to take you off any medications that may trigger abnormal heartbeats. He may also prescribe medications that can treat irregular heart rhythms, such as beta blockers. For frequent or prolonged PVCs that do not alleviate with medication, he may perform a catheter ablation, during which he will use radiofrequency or cryo energy to modify the tissues in your heart that cause the abnormal heart rhythm.