What are Latest Arrhythmia Treatment Options in Mumbai
Arrhythmia represent a chaotic situation produced by some abnormality related the heart. The problem may be originating in the heart or it can be somewhere else to start with but eventually involves the heart. So, the management of these arrhythmia require an in-depth evaluation of the problem which will then help the patient.
Arrhythmia Treatment options
The usual options for the treatment are –
- Medical management – with appropriate medications which can completely correct or control the rhythm problem
- Direct current cardioversion – in this particular treatment a short burst of current is applied to the heart, which corrects the arrhythmia and gives the patient his/her/their own heart rhythm
- Electrophysiological study with ablation – we search for the focus of arrhythmia from inside the heart with this invasive procedure and once we are convinced with the map and safety associated with the final treatment, we go for the ablation
This forms a cornerstone of arrhythmia management. It is often the first line preferred by most of the patients and even the doctors. Unfortunately, the medications available to treat arrhythmia are few but these are very potent and can take care of all the arrhythmia. The choice of medication can be discussed with your doctor and then it can be mutually decided after going through the advantages and disadvantages associated with the treatment. Broadly, two types of medications are required –
- Medications to Control the heart rhythm/ rate
Most of the arrhythmia need only this type of medication which controls the rate/ rhythm of a particular arrhythmia. The efficacy of the medications differs based on the arrhythmia and clinical scenario. Overall, around 70-80% of the rhythm problem burden can be taken care of with these medications
- Medications to prevent blood clotting to avoid brain stroke
Some of the arrhythmia, like atrial fibrillation/ atrial flutter, are prone to cause blood clots in the heart. These clots can get dislodged from the heart and cause problems like brain stroke. So, in such patients, appropriate medications are required to prevent the blood from clotting. A particular caution with respect to these medications is these can cause bleeding, which can be as minor as small visible bleed from skin break or as severe as brain bleeding. So, these should strictly be monitored with the help of your doctor.
Medications for non-cardiac conditions causing arrhythmia
If we find that the problem doesn’t actually lie with the heart but somewhere else, we need medications for the treatment of that particular condition, rather than trying to address the rhythm problem directly. Once the primary problem is sorted, most of the times the arrhythmia goes away. The common examples are –
- High or low blood electrolytes – sometime due to severe vomiting/ diarrhoea, we tend to lose a lot of good electrolytes, like sodium, potassium. This can cause the heart to beat abnormally.
- Thyroid problem – low or high levels of thyroid hormone in the body can cause various effects on heart rhythm. These can be completely treated with the treatment of thyroid issue
- Anxiety – it has become a commonplace, especially after the pandemic that we all faced recently. It needs to be addressed properly with a combination of counselling, meditations and/or medications.
- Kidney or liver problem – these can be due to some other illness of the body like infection etc. A severe problem with kidney can cause abnormalities in blood electrolytes, which eventually affect heart rhythm. A liver problem can cause very high body circulation, leading to higher tendency of causing arrhythmia.
In order to manage the “chaos” i.e. arrhythmia, we need to find the specific “control” which eventually controls the chaos. An in-depth evaluation is required so that appropriate medication(s) can be given in a particular situation. A cardiac electrophysiologist is a specialist who deals with such problems on a regular basis and can be consulted with in case of arrhythmia management.