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Arrhythmia Treatments

The heart team at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center tailors an individualized arrhythmia treatment plan that offers you the best long-term result. We offer a wide range of options, working with you to determine the right solution.

Arrhythmia Care: Why Choose Us?

We are national and international leaders in caring for heart rhythm disorders. Our team can provide effective treatment for patients with all types of arrhythmias, from the common to the complex.

Our team’s expertise draws patients from across the country. We often care for the sickest patients, who have not found success with other treatments.

When you come to our Heart & Vascular Center, you will find:

  • Expertise: We have a depth of expertise in the full range of arrhythmia treatments, from medication to surgery. Doctors at our center have developed much of the technology used to treat heart arrhythmias. We developed techniques such as cardiac ablations and defibrillators that other hospitals now use regularly.
  • Advanced research: In addition to using the most advanced technology available, we are actively involved in developing the next generation of treatments. We have the research commitment and resources needed to investigate newer, safer and more effective arrhythmia treatments.
  • Personalized care: We take a holistic approach to arrhythmia treatment, considering your heart health, medical history, personal preferences and other conditions when crafting a treatment plan. We want you to understand your treatment options and feel comfortable with the next steps in your care.
  • Multidisciplinary approach: We take a true team approach, with a close partnership between the specialists needed for the most comprehensive and effective arrhythmia care. Our team includes:
    • Cardiologists
    • Cardiac surgeons
    • Electrophysiologists
    • Interventional cardiologists

Heart Rhythm Disorders We Treat

We care for all types of heart rhythm disorders:

Arrhythmia Treatments We Provide

We diagnose arrhythmias by asking about your symptoms, performing a physical exam and using procedures such as an electrocardiogram (EKG). Once we diagnose the specific heart rhythm disorder, our team works together to create your treatment plan.

Different approaches exist to treat heart rhythm disorders. We generally start with nonsurgical treatments. If those are not successful, we discuss your surgical options with you. Our treatments include:

  • Medication: Medication can decrease symptoms, improving your quality of life. Your medication regimen will most likely include blood thinners to decrease the risk of stroke.
  • Cardioversion: A controlled electric shock restores your heart to a normal rhythm. We give you a sedative and deliver a short shock, lasting less than a second. The entire procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • Catheter ablation: Ablation creates safe and effective scars on your heart that block abnormal electrical impulses from traveling through it. A catheter ablation uses a percutaneous (through the skin) approach. We insert a catheter through a vein to access your heart. Learn more about our catheter ablation.
  • Surgical ablation: Surgery is also used to apply ablations to the heart, accessing it directly (unlike the catheter approach). Surgical ablation, called the Cox-Maze procedure, was developed at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Find out more about our Cox-Maze for atrial fibrillation.
  • Stroke-reducing procedures: While arrhythmias increase your chance of having a stroke, a stroke-reducing procedure can lower that danger. We are one of the few centers offering three different techniques to accomplish that goal. We have the resources and the expertise to offer you the most appropriate procedure that will give you the best long-term outcome. Read more about our approach to stroke-reducing procedures.
  • Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs): An electrophysiologist implants these devices in your chest. The devices detect abnormal heart rhythms and reset them. Learn more about our pacemaker and ICD implants.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University arrhythmia specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.