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The cardiologists at St. Mary’s Medical Center are experts at managing your heart rhythm issues. Arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart beats with irregular or abnormal rhythm. It can be harmless, but can also lead to more serious outcomes.
In a normal heart, all four chambers work together to pump blood throughout the body. Blood is pumped through the chambers using your heart’s electrical system. But when your heart’s electrical system is damaged or weak, your heart can slow down, speed up or lose coordination. This is a condition called arrhythmia. Irregular heartbeat and arrhythmia can be caused by a number of factors, but unusual and persistent heartbeat irregularity can be a sign of a very serious heart condition.
Atrial fibrillation (also called Afib) is a type of irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. With atrial fibrillation, the electrical signals in your heart short circuit. This results in a chaotic, rapid heart rate. When the atria (the two upper chambers of the heart) do not contract effectively, the blood may pool and/or clot. If a blood clot becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke may occur.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation include:
Irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia can be a result of several other problems or conditions. The most common include:
The Electrophysiology Department at St. Mary’s Medical Center can conduct a wide range of tests and offer various treatment options to manage your heart rhythm. With one of the most advanced Electrophysiology programs in Northern California, we can map your heart beats using technology that can reduce the amount of time during the procedure and the lessen the degree of radiation exposure.
For more information, please call 877.626.8056. For a doctor referral, call 800.444.2303 or use our search tool to Find a Doctor.