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Heart & Stroke

Electrophysiology

The Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory

Electrophysiology is a cardiac specialty for treating disorders in the heart's electrical function. The electrophysiology laboratory at Meritus Medical Center is an operating room where diagnosing arrhythmias can be performed by a board certified cardiologist with specialty in electrophysiology.

Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is an electrical disturbance that causes your heart to beat irregularly, interfering with the heart's ability to pump blood. The heart either beats too rapidly, too slowly, or does not maintain a steady rhythm. About 4% of the U.S. population has arrhythmias. An arrhythmia is diagnosed by electrocardiogram (EKG). The EKG records the relative timing of atrial and ventricular electrical events.

There are primarily three types of arrhythmia treatments performed: implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), catheter ablations, and dual chamber pacemaker implantations. Each procedure is performed to treat a specific irregularity.

Rapid Heartbeat

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator is a device designed for electrical stimulation of the heart. It is used to treat patients at risk of abnormally fast heartbeat. Because a rapid contraction of the heart can cause a heart attack, the ICD detects any abnormalities in the heart rhythm and stimulates the heart to return to its normal rhythm.

Irregular Heartbeat

Catheter ablation is a non-surgical procedure that corrects the conduction pathway in the heart that causes arrhythmia. Once a disturbance is detected, radio frequency energy is used to break the connection that the disturbance flows through, eliminating the disturbance and allowing the heart to maintain its normal rhythm.

Slow Heartbeat

Dual chamber pacemakers are inserted to treat patients with abnormally slow heartbeats. If a patient's heart is beating too slowly, the pacemaker sends signals to the heart, causing it to beat faster. Wires are threaded and attached to the heart surface through the patient's veins. This is a non-surgical procedure, and patients usually will be discharged the same day as the procedure.

Scheduling an Appointment

Electrophysiology services are available by physician referral only. Talk to your physician about how the electrophysiology lab can help your heart condition.

11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
301-790-8000
TDD: 1-800-735-2258
meritus Health
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