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What is Electrophysiology

arrhythmia imageElectrophysiology is a cardiac subspecialty dedicated to the study and treatment of arrhythmias. An arrhythmia is defined as a disturbance in one’s heart rate or rhythm that is caused by complications with the heart’s electrical system.

Unlike other muscles in your body, which rely on nerve connections to receive the electrical stimulation they need to function, your heart has its own electrical stimulator — a specialized group of cells called the sinus node, located in the upper right chamber (right atrium) of your heart. The sinus node generates electrical impulses that flow in an orderly manner through your heart to synchronize heart rate and coordinate the pumping of blood from your heart to the rest of your body.

If something goes wrong with the sinus node or the flow of electric impulses through your heart, an arrhythmia can result, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or in an irregular fashion. Arrhythmia’s can occur in the hearts atria (upper chambers), ventricles (lower chambers) or in paths between. Arrhythmias can come in the form of a Tachycardia which is an arrhythmia where the heart beats rapidly or a bradycardia which is an arrhythmia where the heart beats too slowly. Arrhythmias can be complex medical conditions and the effects can range from a discomfort to life threatening.

When to see an Electrophysiologist

Typically patients are referred to the Cardiology Associates Arrhythmia Center by their primary care provider or cardiologist for consultation regarding their cardiac condition. These could be newly diagnosed patients with Atrial Fibrillation or one that may need additional treatment options to manage their arrhythmia.

Patients may contact Cardiology Associates Arrhythmia Center to schedule an appointment (self-referral), however, please note that some insurance companies may require that the initial consultation require a referral from your primary care physician.

 

 

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