What's the treatment for arrhythmia?
Treatment depends on the type of arrhythmia you have. Some mild arrhythmias require no treatment. Other arrhythmias can be treated with medicines. If another health problem is causing the arrhythmia, treatment is aimed at taking care of that problem. In more serious cases, other treatments are available, such as the following:
- An artificial pacemaker is an electronic device placed under the skin on the chest. It helps the heart maintain a regular beat, especially when the heart beats too slowly.
- Cardiac defibrillation (very brief electric shock) can be used to stop an abnormal rhythm and restore a normal one.
- Surgery can correct certain types of arrhythmias. For example, arrhythmias caused by coronary artery disease may be controlled by bypass surgery. When an arrhythmia is caused by a certain area of the heart, sometimes that part of the heart can be destroyed or removed.
Acute Management of Atrial Fibrillation: Part II. Prevention of Thromboembolic Complications by DE King, MD; LM Dickerson, PharmD; JL Sack, MD (American Family Physician July 15, 2002, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020715/261.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff