Tachycardia treatment

November 12, 2012

Tachycardia treatment

Tachycardia is a condition in which a person’s heart beats faster than it normally should. It is the job of our electrical signals to control heart rate but when an abnormality occurs it can cause the occurrence of rapid electrical signals. Symptoms and complications can occur but there is often no evidence of the condition. Although the presence of the condition can increase the risk of stroke, cardiac arrest and even death, there are effective tachycardia treatments available.

Treatments to stop a fast heart

There is a variety of tachycardia treatment available and it will be up to your doctor to recommend the best one for you according to your condition and lifestyle factors. The overall aim of tachycardia treatment is to slow down a fast heart rate and prevent serious complications. Some people are able to slow down their heart rate using some physical movements but others may require treatment or medication. The physical movements are known as vagal manoeuvres and can be taught by a doctor. For those whom vagal manoeuvres don’t affect, medication in the form of an injection can be administered in hospital. The same anti-arrhythmic medication can also be prescribed as a pill. When neither of the two previously mentioned methods proves effective a procedure called cardioversion can be performed. This involves a shock delivered to the heart either via paddles or patches attached to the chest. The electric shock disrupts the natural electrical signals going to the heart and restores the normal rhythm. This procedure is only used as tachycardia treatment when previous methods have been tried and were ineffective or in cases of emergency.

Treatments to prevent episodes of a fast heart

The following tachycardia treatments can be used to prevent and manage episodes of tachycardia:

Catheter ablation

This method is most often used when the cause of the fast heart is an additional electrical signal. During a catheter ablation procedure catheters are inserted although way into the heart through the blood vessels and using a electrodes on the tip small are of heart tissue is damaged in order to block the stray electrical signal. It is a highly affective and commonly performed procedure.

Medications

If taken regularly anti-arrhythmic medications can prevent tachycardia episodes. Sometimes prescribed separately and sometimes in combination with anti-arrhythmic medications are calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers.

Pacemaker

A pacemaker can be implanted under the skin and detects abnormal electrical signals. When one occurs is sends out its up electrical pulse causing the heart to go back to a more normal rhythm.

Implantable cardioverter -defibrillator

If your life is at risk of a tachycardia episode you may be recommended to use this device. The device is implanted into the chest and continually monitors the heart rate.

Surgery

Open-heart surgery is sometimes the required tachycardia treatment and is performed to destroy the extra problem making electrical pathway. Another form of surgery is to make small incisions in the heart making a maze of scar tissue. This makes it harder for the electrical signal to pass through the heart.

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