A cardiac arrhythmia refers to problems with the rhythm of a heartbeat. Your heartbeat is caused by an electrical impulse, and problems with this impulse can cause your heart to beat irregularly, or at an increased or reduced speed.
There are different types of cardiac arrhythmia that you may experience, such as atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is often associated with palpitations, chest pain, fainting, or congestive heart failure. It can also increase the risk of stroke in patients.
Your consultant will perform an electrocardiogram to diagnose the problem. A cardiac arrhythmia can be treated with a variety of medications and therapies. These include rhythm control medication and catheter ablation. In severe cases, you may require surgery.
Atrial fibrillation can be treated with a variety of medications and therapies. These include rhythm control medication and catheter ablation. In more severe cases surgical options can be pursued, the most common of which is the Maze procedure.
The Maze procedure involves the disruption of the hearts abnormal electrical channels using either a scalpel and stitch or an energy source. This allows the normal function of the heart to take over and correct the atrial fibrillation. It is a relatively major procedure and the patient will experience chest, back and neck pain for a number of weeks.