What is the treatment for arrhythmia?


Quick Answer

Treatments for arrhythmia include a permanent pacemaker, medications that control heartbeat rates, ablation, heart surgery and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, according to Cleveland Clinic. A patient's treatment plan depends on the degree of irregularity of the heartbeats.

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Full Answer

A permanent pacemaker is implanted to monitor the patient's heartbeat through the use of electrical impulses. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is implanted to treat two types of arrhythmia, namely ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Like the pacemaker, it sends out electrical impulses when it detects the heart beating too fast or irregularly. Medications such as aspirin and anti-arrhythmic drugs can prevent arrhythmia or strokes. Surgical treatments such as coronary bypass surgery and cardiac ablation are recommended for patients with severe arrhythmic conditions, states Mayo Clinic.

Individuals with arrhythmia can also control factors that contribute to increased risk of heart attacks and stroke through lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, reducing total cholesterol levels, exercising regularly and not smoking cigarettes, explains the American Heart Association. Patients with pacemakers should know how to monitor their heartbeats and their intake of anti-arrhythmic drugs because these drugs can cause arrhythmia. Although most arrhythmias are not life-threatening and do not need treatment, patients with severe arrhythmia must follow treatment plans to prevent an increased risk of blood clots and heart disease.

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