Arrhythmia Specialist

South Bay Cardiovascular Center

Cardiovascular Specialist & Nuclear Cardiology located in Morgan Hill, CA

Arrhythmia can have several causes, all of which affect the speed and rhythm of your heart. If your heart is beating irregularly, double board-certified cardiovascular specialist Anu Chirala, MD, FACC, at South Bay Cardiovascular Center in Morgan Hill, California, can help. Dr. Chirala has extensive experience diagnosing and treating patients with arrhythmia, so call South Bay Cardiovascular Center to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.

Arrhythmia Q & A

What is arrhythmia?

Several conditions come under the umbrella of arrhythmia. What they have in common is that they adversely affect the rhythm of your heart and the speed at which it beats.

Your heart's rhythm is a response to electrical impulses that come from a part of your heart called the sinus node. This node acts as a pacemaker, sending out signals that trigger contractions in your heart muscle.

These contractions pump blood and create the sound of your heartbeat. If something interferes with the sinus node's function, it can cause arrhythmia, making your heartbeat too slow, too fast, or have an irregular rhythm.

Symptoms of arrhythmia include palpitations, dizziness, and syncope (fainting).

What types of arrhythmia might I get?

The types of arrhythmia that Dr. Chirala sees most often include:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Bradycardia
  • Tachycardia
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Premature ventricular contraction (PVC)

Some people are born with heart problems that are responsible for their arrhythmia. You could also develop arrhythmia if you have hypertension (high blood pressure) or coronary artery disease. Arrhythmia can be a complication of COVID-19.

How is an arrhythmia diagnosed?

To diagnose your condition, Dr. Chirala performs a physical examination, blood pressure measurement, and medical history review and discusses your symptoms.

Depending on the information this evaluation provides, you might need to undergo cardiac testing such as:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Holter or event monitoring
  • Stress testing
  • Electrophysiologic testing (EP study)
  • Esophageal electrophysiologic procedure
  • Tilt table test

South Bay Cardiovascular Center has outstanding in-house diagnostic facilities that feature the latest cutting-edge technologies, such as the BioTel Heart® ePatch™ extended Holter monitor.

How is arrhythmia treated?

In an emergency, you might require cardiac defibrillation to treat your arrhythmia. Longer-term, there are several ways of managing arrhythmia, the main ones being:

Medication

You might need to take anticoagulants (blood thinners) if there's a risk you could develop a blood clot. Other types of medication include anti-arrhythmic medicines to restore a regular heart rhythm and calcium channel blockers and beta blockers to slow down your heart rate.

Implantable devices

Implantable devices such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) can help regulate your heartbeat.

Catheter ablation

A catheter is a tiny tube that Dr. Chirala places in an artery and threads through to your heart. She applies heat through the catheter that safely destroys abnormal heart muscle cells if they're causing your arrhythmia.

Find out more about arrhythmia treatments by calling South Bay Cardiovascular Center, or book an appointment online today.