Heart Rhythm Disorders

Is My Heartbeat Normal?

Do you ever feel like your heart is beating out of your chest or maybe skipping a beat? Even when you're in love, your heart should beat 60 to 100 times per minute. If you have a heart rhythm disorder, your heart beats slower, faster or in an irregular pattern. Banner Health heart specialists diagnose and treat heart rhythm disorders to help keep your heart beating as it should.

What Does Irregular Heartbeat Mean?

Sometimes your heart is a bad drummer and can't keep a regular beat. You may feel chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath and fatigue. There are several types of heart rhythm disorders, depending on where the problem begins.

The heart specialists at Banner Health will diagnose your rhythm disorder and develop a treatment plan to fit your needs. Our electrophysiologists — heart specialists who focus on the heart's electrical activity – can get your heart back to its normal rhythm using either medicine or surgery. When surgery is the right option, we offer minimally invasive and robotic surgical treatments.

What Types of Rhythm Disorders Are Possible?

If you have a rhythm disorder, your heartbeat is unsteady. There are several types of rhythm disorders, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation (Afib) – a rapid heartbeat that begins in the atria (the upper chambers) of the heart
  • Bradycardia – a slow heartbeat at less than 55 times per minute
  • Ventricular tachycardia – a rapid heartbeat that begins in the ventricles of the heart

How Are Rhythm Disorders Diagnosed?

There are many reasons you may have an irregular heartbeat. Some common reasons are:

Banner Health uses a full range of diagnostic tests to determine if a rhythm disorder is the cause of your symptoms. Those tests include:

  • Angiography
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrophysiologic study
  • Exercise stress test
  • Nuclear imaging test

How Are Rhythm Disorders Treated?

In some cases, a conservative approach is the right option. Medicine may be enough to control your heart rhythm. In other cases, surgery may be necessary.

In addition to minimally invasive treatment options, such as cardioversion (a procedure to restore your heart's normal rhythm), heart ablation (a procedure to destroy small areas of heart tissue that may be causing your irregular heartbeat) and the maze procedure (a procedure to create scar tissue to disrupt the path of abnormal electrical signals that could be causing your irregular heartbeat), we offer several traditional heart surgeries:

  • Defibrillator implant
  • Lead extraction
  • Pacemaker implant

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