Treating Heart Arrhythmia with Defibrillators and Biventricular Pacing

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is another common treatment for heart arrhythmia. It is a small device similar to a pacemaker placed under the skin, often below the collarbone. An ICD senses the rate of the heartbeat. When your heart rate goes higher than the level entered into the device, it sends an electrical shock to the heart. This corrects the rhythm to a slower, more normal heart rhythm. ICDs are used with a pacemaker to send an electrical signal to regulate a slow heart rate.

Cardioversion is another procedure used to treat arrhythmia. During this, the healthcare provider sends an electrical shock to your heart through the chest that stops certain very fast arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia or atrial flutter.

Some cardiologists recommend biventricular pacing to treat an arrhythmia. Also known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), this procedure can treat the delay in heart ventricle contractions by sending electrical impulses to the heart. This may be used in combination with ICD treatment.

Patient Stories

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