Cardiac electrophysiologists diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), such as rapid heartbeats, skipped beats, or a fluttering sensation. Arrhythmia refers to several abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation (AFib), which starts in the top chambers of the heart (atria). Learn more about arrhythmias.
We are a high-quality, high-volume center. We have the most advanced mapping and ablation technologies available. For example, we’re able to use 3-D mapping of atrial fibrillation to pinpoint problems in time and space with the clearest possible computer-rendered images.Dr. Grant Simons, Chief of Heart Rhythm Services
We identify and assess your condition using the latest diagnostic methods and technology, including noninvasive tests and 3D digital mapping systems. These tools help us determine the best care plan for you.
Cardiac Electrophysiology Treatments and Services
Our experienced team offers a range of advanced diagnosis and treatment options.
We use advanced computer mapping systems to see real-time images of the electrical activity within your heart. These images pinpoint the location of normal and abnormal heartbeats – crucial information for treating arrhythmias. Our team may use one or more of these cardiac diagnostic tests to make or confirm a diagnosis:
- Holter monitor
- Cardiac event monitor
- Tilt table testing
- Electrophysiology study
Arrhythmia and Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Treatment Options
Our electrophysiologists treat atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias with the latest approaches available. Your treatment will depend on the type and severity of the arrhythmia (based on where it occurs and how it affects heart rhythm). These treatments may include:
- Lifestyle changes: Reducing or eliminating triggers like alcohol, certain medications, caffeine, and stress may relieve arrhythmias that stop on their own (non-sustained arrhythmias).
- Medication: Drugs, like antiarrhythmic drugs, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and blood-thinning drugs (like aspirin or warfarin), may help control abnormal heart rhythms. Medications require careful monitoring to prevent side effects, and you may need other tests to assess whether this treatment is working.
- Catheter-based procedures: We use long, flexible wires to enter the heart and stop the arrhythmia at its source, often curing the arrhythmia. These minimally invasive procedures include cauterizing abnormal electrical pathways using radiofrequency heat (catheter ablation) or freezing therapy (called cryotherapy or cryoablation).
- Robotic catheterization and surgery: Englewood Health was New Jersey’s first facility to offer the Sensei® Robotic Catheter System for arrhythmia treatment. We use this highly specialized system for catheter-based mapping within your heart chambers. The system allows for more precise and stable catheter movement during complex cardiac procedures.
- Cryoablation: We are one of the few centers in the tri-state area to use cryoablation to treat certain arrhythmias. The procedure restores normal electrical conduction by freezing tissue or heart pathways that block normal movement of the heart’s electrical impulses.
- Cardioversion: If your heart beats too quickly, we may apply an electrical shock to the chest wall to restore normal heart rhythm. Our team commonly uses this low-risk procedure for atrial flutter and persistent atrial fibrillation.
The team at Englewood is extremely experienced and that makes a huge difference when you’re working in such a complicated field. When you have a team of nurses and doctors that have been together for two decades, everything moves smoothly, everyone knows their roles, and everything runs like a well-oiled machine.Dr. Asad Cheema, Medical Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory
Implantable Devices to Treat Arrhythmia and Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
As part of your treatment plan, your doctor may recommend an implantable device such as:
- Watchman® Device: People with AFib have higher stroke risk because clots can form in a chamber at the top of their hearts. The Watchman® Device can reduce this risk and offers an alternative to blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (which prevent clots).
- Pacemaker: We use pacemakers to treat a slow heartbeat. The device sends electrical impulses to the heart to maintain the proper heart rate.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD): This device corrects life-threatening arrhythmias in your heart’s ventricles (lower chambers that send blood to the rest of the body). The ICD monitors your heart’s rhythm and can disrupt a dangerous arrhythmia by delivering an electrical shock.
- LifeVest®: This external, temporary body appliance detects and counters potentially life-threatening irregularities in your heart rhythm.
Living with an Implantable Device
Once you receive an implantable device, you may need follow-up care to make sure it’s working properly. Our electrophysiology team works with your cardiologist or other doctor to ensure proper follow-up care.