Treatment for Heart Rhythm Disorders

Cardiac arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, is a problem with the rhythm of your heart where it may beat too quickly, too slowly or with an irregular rhythm. This could be an electrical problem that may cause your heart to not pump enough blood to your body. It can lead to sudden cardiac death and other life-threatening conditions if not treated, so it is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, fainting or trouble breathing.

The Electrophysiology Lab at Spring Valley Hospital treats patients with cardiac arrhythmias. It uses advanced technology to help diagnose the nature and severity of an abnormal heart rhythm. The physicians in our electrophysiology lab can then determine the appropriate treatment.

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If you need a referral to a cardiologist or other physician at Spring Valley Hospital, call our free physician referral service 702-388-4888 or search for a physician online.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation, or Afib, is one of the most common types of arrhythmias. During atrial fibrillation, the heart's upper and lower chambers don't work together properly. This can cause blood to pool or clot instead of getting pumped out to the body. A stroke could occur if a piece of a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain.

Treatment Options for Arrhythmia

The Electrophysiology Lab offers numerous treatment options for arrhythmia. If a patient has a more serious form of arrhythmia they made need more than one treatment to relieve their condition.


Cryoablation is performed to help restore normal heart rhythm by freezing heart tissue that is causing the arrhythmia. A flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel and guided to the heart. A gas coolant is used to freeze the tissue. The goal is for normal rhythm to be restored by disrupting the abnormal electrical activity in the heart.

Radiofrequency Ablation

During radiofrequency ablation, physicians place an ablation catheter on the affected heart tissue and deliver high-frequency radio waves that zap the tissue causing the irregular heartbeat. This disrupts the irregular electrical signals and corrects the heart rhythm.

Radiofrequency ablation is commonly used to treat the following arrhythmias:

  • Supraventricular Tachycardia – The heart suddenly races at very fast rates due to disruption of normal electrical impulses in the heart.
  • Atrial Flutter – A rapid, fairly regular abnormal heart rhythm leading to severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart failure or stroke.
  • Atrial Tachycardia – Rapid heartbeat caused by a runaway focus in the top chamber of the heart.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia – An abnormal heart rhythm starting in the bottom chamber of the heart.

Implantable Devices

Cardiac surgeons at Spring Valley Hospital can implant special devices in or near the heart to help correct abnormal heart rhythms. These include:

  • Pacemakers – Pacemakers send electrical impulses to the heart muscle to help it maintain a regular beat. Patients with slow heart rhythms or who experience fainting are often treated with a pacemaker.
  • Cardioverter Defibrillator – An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is used to detect and stop irregular heartbeats. It monitors the heart and sends an electrical pulse when it senses that the rhythm is not normal. An ICD is normally used for patients with life-threatening heart rhythm problems.