What Are Some Treatments for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome?


Quick Answer

Treatments for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome include medication, physical movements to slow the heart, shocking the heart and a procedure that destroys the additional electrical pathway that causes the disease, according to Mayo Clinic. The course of treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

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Full Answer

Patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome who don't experience symptoms usually require no treatment, Mayo Clinic explains. In patients with symptoms, treatment slows the heart when it speeds up or prevents these episodes altogether.

Doctors often treat mild cases of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome with medication that slows the heartbeat or with vagal maneuvers, which are simple movements affecting the nerve that regulates heartbeat, Mayo Clinic states. These movements include coughing, placing an ice pack on the face, and bearing down as if to produce a bowel movement. When vagal maneuvers don't work, doctors often try an injection of an anti-arrhythmic medication.

If these treatments aren't effective, doctors sometimes perform cardioversion, a procedure using paddles or electrodes to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, notes Mayo Clinic. For more serious cases, doctors use radiofrequency catheter ablation, a procedure in which heated electrodes attached to catheters destroy the area of the heart that causes the condition. Radiofrequency catheter ablation stops the condition in 95 percent of patients.

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