Electrophysiology at Norwalk Hospital
If you or someone you care about has a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia), you don’t have to travel far to get outstanding care.
At Norwalk Hospital’s Phyllis and David Komansky Cardiac and Vascular Center, we have a team of experienced, fellowship-trained electrophysiologists and cardiologists who provide a remarkable depth and breadth of advanced electrophysiology (EP) services.
In addition, from the moment you become an EP patient, you are cared for by a dedicated team of EP nurse practitioners who are by your side before, during and after your procedure—providing exceptional continuity of care.
From sophisticated testing in our state-of-the-art EP lab to performing today’s most advanced procedures for treating cardiac arrhythmias, you can rely on Norwalk Hospital and the Western Connecticut Health Network to deliver high-quality, attentive care—a fact that’s reflected in our consistently excellent patient outcomes.
Electrophysiology is the cardiac specialty trained to address problems with the heart’s electrical system, which can affect the heart’s rhythm. Our electrophysiologists treat the full range of heart rhythm disorders, including:
- Atrial fibrillation (the most common arrhythmia)
- Supraventricular arrhythmias (rapid heartbeats that begin in or involve the upper chambers—the atria—of the heart)
- Ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms that originate in the bottom chambers—the ventricles—of the heart
- Wolff Parkinson White syndrome (when there is an extra electrical pathway in the heart)
- Atrial flutter (when the upper chambers of the heart beat too fast)
Our comprehensive electrophysiology services include:
Electrophysiology Study (EPS): If your doctor detected that you have an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), you will need to have a diagnostic electrophysiology study (EPS) in our state-of-the-art EP lab to identify the cause.
Performed on patients with an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), this procedure involves threading catheters through a vein into the heart to help identify the type of arrhythmia you have and its exact location. This test helps your physician determine the best treatment for your arrhythmia.
Holter Monitoring: A Holter monitor provides continuous heart rate monitoring for 24-72 hours.
The Holter monitor is a portable device that you wear as you go about your normal daily activities; it continuously records your heart rhythm for 24 to 72 hours. Doctors use Holter monitoring, also known as arrhythmia monitoring, to detect intermittent heart rhythms and irregularities that may accompany certain heart conditions.
Treatments for Cardiac Arrhythmias
Cardioversion: This is a procedure in which an electric current is used to reset a fast or irregular heartbeat back to a normal rhythm.
Pacemaker and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) insertion: These are implanted devices that help keep the heart beating regularly. Most pacemakers are used to keep the heart from beating too slowly, and most defibrillators treat abnormally fast heartbeats.
Pacemakers are implanted under the skin in the chest (usually just below the collarbone) and connected to wires (called "leads") that transmit tiny electrical pulses to the heart muscle to maintain a normal heart rate.
Follow-up care for pacemakers: You’ll see your doctor at least once each year for a full “interrogation” (testing) of your pacemaker to ensure that the lead(s) and battery system are working well, set at the optimal rate for your health and working well. At the same visit, your cardiologist will determine if any adjustments need to be made to your pacemaker’s settings. These are quick visits, typically taking 10-15 minutes, and are non-invasive.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
Defibrillators are mostly used to treat very fast and possibly life-threatening heart rhythms. The ICD works by constantly monitoring the heart rhythm and, when it detects an abnormal and very fast heart rhythm, it delivers energy in the form of an electrical shock to the heart muscle. This returns the heart rhythm to normal. The power source is implanted in a tiny pouch under the skin of the chest or abdomen, and connected to wires placed within the heart.
Bi-Ventricular Pacemaker or ICD
Sometimes called Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT), this device includes an additional wire (or lead) that helps time the contractions of the blood-pumping chambers of the heart. This sometimes improves the symptoms of advanced heart failure.
Follow-up care for Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators: To ensure that your ICD is working correctly, you’ll visit our Arrhythmia Center at least once each year for a 15-minute visit with a trained technician. He or she will use a programmer to “interrogate” (test) your device to see if you have had episodes of arrhythmia and defibrillation. At this same visit, your lead and battery system will be thoroughly checked to determine if setting changes are required.
Ablation: This arrhythmia treatment delivers intense heat (via radiofrequency energy) or cold (cryotherapy) to the heart tissue causing the abnormal rhythm.
Ablation involves threading a catheter into a vein. The catheter is advanced to the heart to pinpoint the exact location of the abnormal heart rhythm. Then, intense heat or cold is applied to the heart tissue that’s causing the arrhythmia, disrupting the arrhythmia and restoring a normal rhythm.
Surgical MAZE procedure: This is a surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation. It also can be called a surgical ablation. This procedure is performed at our WCHN partner Danbury Hospital.
In this procedure, the surgeon can use small incisions, radiofrequency energy (heat), freezing (cryotherapy), or microwave or ultrasound energy to create scar tissue, which disrupts the abnormal electrical activity in the heart and restores a natural heart rhythm.
Hybrid convergent approach: This is a newer approach to treating atrial fibrillation that combines EP and cardiac surgery in a single minimally invasive treatment. This procedure also is performed at our WCHN partner Danbury Hospital.
In this procedure, a cardiac surgeon and an electrophysiologist work as a team to create scar lines in and around the heart to redirect abnormal electrical signals, restoring your heart’s normal rhythm.
You don’t have to wait long to see an EP specialist at Norwalk Hospital. Most consultations can be scheduled with a week of your call, and procedures generally can be scheduled within just a few weeks.
For more information, please call 844-HEART-99 (844-432-7899).
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