Our Advanced Care
The cardiac electrophysiologists at Arrhythmia Associates of South Texas have the specialized training to diagnose and address electrical problems of the heart and the heart rhythm disorders – or arrhythmias – they cause. It is critical to receive care for arrhythmias not only to improve quality of life, but to prevent serious complications such as stroke, heart failure or even death. We offer:
- Evaluation and treatment of atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and other arrhythmias
- Evaluation and treatment of syncope
- Management of antiarrhythmic medications
- Electrophysiology studies
- Holter monitors, event monitors, and implantable loop recorders
- Implantation and management of pacemakers
- Implantation and management of implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)
- Cardiac re-syncronization therapy and biventricular devices
- Intracardiac echocardiograms
- Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device
- Fluoroless Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation is where one or more flexible, thin tubes (catheters) are guided via x-ray through the blood vessels to abnormal heart muscle tissue. Once there, a burst of radiofrequency energy destroys very small areas of the tissue, which give rise to abnormal electrical signals causing rhythm disturbances.
Holter and Event Monitoring
The 24-hour Holter monitor is an electrocardiographic recording device that utilizes electrodes, which the patient wears for a 24-hour period, including during sleep and exercise. The Holter monitor captures the patient’s entire heart rhythm over a 24-hour period so that it can be analyzed.
An event monitor is a similar wearable device that the patient takes home for a period of time. Except rather than continuously recording, the patient manually starts on stops the recoding when he or she suddenly begins to experience symptoms of palpitations or heart racing. The recording of the cardiac event can be transmitted remotely for analysis.
Pacemakers are miniature devices that can be implanted underneath the skin to monitor and provide control of a patient’s the heart rhythm. Pacemakers are particularly helpful in patients who suffer from heart rhythms which are abnormally slow. Typically, the pacemaker is placed under the skin of the front wall of the heart below the collarbone. Monitoring of the pacemaker is usually done remotely at home with periodic visits to the cardiologist’s office.
Implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are 99 percent effective in stopping life-threatening arrhythmias and are the most successful therapy to treat ventricular fibrillation, a major cause of sudden cardiac death. An ICD is implanted under the skin near the heart and constantly monitors a patient’s heart rhythm. If it detects a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm, it delivers energy to the heart muscle causing it to beat in a normal rhythm.
Stereotaxis Robotic Navigation for Ablation
Arrhythmia Associates of South Texas features the first cardiac specialists in San Antonio to use the Stereotaxis Robotic Navigation System to perform catheter ablation – a procedure that uses electrical pulses to eliminate troubled heart tissue that may be causing a heart rhythm disorder. During Stereotaxis-guided catheter ablation, a weak magnet field is created around the body. A wire is then more precisely guided to tissue that needs to be removed via ablation with magnets using 3-D imaging.
Many imaging techniques used in medicine today, including fluoroscopy (used during heart catheterizations and ablations) involve radiation exposure to patients. Limiting or eliminating radiation whenever possible is always goal. Through the use of advanced 3-D mapping technologies and intracardiac ultrasound, Arrhythmia Associates of South Texas is safely and successfully performing electrophysiology studies and catheter ablations with little or no radiation. This ablation technique can treat atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and a variety of supraventricular tachycardias including patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and AV nodal reentrant tachycardia.