Electrophysiology services for heart arrhythmias

The Heart & Vascular Center at North Florida Regional Medical Center offers diagnostic testing and treatment options for patients with heart arrhythmias. We employ electrophysiology specialists in Gainesville, Florida, who are experts in treating irregular heartbeats and restoring normal heart rhythms in our patients.

To learn more about our electrophysiology services, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (352) 333-4300.

Diagnostic testing for heart arrhythmias

Our cardiac electrophysiologists are an essential part of our team at The Heart & Vascular Center. They perform electrophysiology (EP) procedures using heart mapping technology in our cardiac catheterization lab.

An EP study is performed for patients with diagnosed cardiac arrhythmias. The study helps our doctors determine the location of the irregular heartbeat and decide on a treatment plan.

An EP study uses catheters that are placed inside the heart. The catheters are used by the electrophysiologist to stimulate the heart with a mild electrical current. This helps determine the electrical properties of the heart and initiate an abnormal heart rhythm for tracking.

To learn more about diagnostic EP studies, please call our cardiac catheterization lab at (352) 333-4925.

Treatment for irregular heartbeats

If a cardiac arrhythmia is diagnosed, there are a number of treatment options available to control the irregular heartbeat, including cardiac surgery. Treatment options will vary depending on the type of heart arrhythmia that is present.

We offer surgical treatments such as cardiac catheter ablation, implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation and permanent pacemaker placement.

Cardiac catheter ablation

A cardiac (heart) ablation is a treatment that involves identifying and eliminating a cardiac arrhythmia through the use of radio frequency or cryothermal energy sources. The goal of this treatment is to redirect the electrical signals that are causing an arrhythmia so the heart can beat normally again.

Catheter ablations are performed for patients experiencing the following types of arrhythmias: atrial fibrillation (aFib), atrial flutter and supraventricular tachycardia.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implant

An ICD is an electronic device that is placed in the chest to constantly monitor the heart's rhythm. If a very fast or abnormal heart rhythm is detected, it delivers a small electrical shock to the heart. The shock causes the heart to restore a normal rhythm.

Ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation are two types of arrhythmias that cause the heart to beat very fast. These conditions are often treated with ICD implants.

During the ICD implant procedure, the cardiologist will make a small incision in the upper chest where the device and its lead is inserted. The lead is inserted into a vein and guided to the heart. The tip of the lead is attached to the heart, while the other end of the lead is attached to the pulse generator. The generator is placed in a pocket created underneath the skin of the upper chest area.

Permanent pacemaker

A pacemaker of the heart is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart to maintain a normal heart rate. Our physicians will decide on the minimum rate (lowest heart rate) to set your pacemaker. When the heart rate drops below the set rate, the pacemaker will generate an electrical impulse that is sent to the heart.

There are many types of pacemakers available, and our doctors will determine which is the right option. After the pacemaker is inserted, the doctor is able to use an external device to program the finalized pacemaker settings.

A pacemaker may also be used to treat patients with fainting spells (syncope), congestive heart failure and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Coming to our hospital for heart arrhythmia surgery

Parking is free on the day of surgery and is available in the garage on the west side of the hospital across from the emergency room (ER). Valet parking is also available at the main entrance.

Most patients will proceed directly to the Interventional Observation Unit (IOU) to complete registration and prepare for the procedure. Patients will be visited by their physician prior to the procedure and will have a final opportunity to ask questions.

Following the procedure, patients will return to the IOU. If the doctor decides further care is needed, patients may be admitted to the hospital. If not, patients are discharged and may return home. Some patients may spend the nigh in the IOU and go home the next morning.