The Arrhythmia Center at Missouri Baptist Medical Center offers patients a state-of-the-art facility where a team of specially trained medical professionals provide the very latest technology to diagnose and treat arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms.
Our Arrhythmia Center is one of only a few centers in the world to offer Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation, which provides robotic, computer-guided precision and improved patient safety to treat atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.
For more information on arrhythmia treatment or to schedule an appointment, call us at 314-996-3627 or contact us online.
When arrhythmia symptoms occur, you and your electrophysiologist will decide your course of treatment, which may range from surgery to no treatment at all.
For some arrhythmias, patients may experience little to no symptoms, and the physician may decide to only monitor your condition. Other arrhythmias may require medications will safely control your heartbeat.
Some arrhythmias may require intervention, and our dedicated team of electrophysiology specialists have the skills and tools that allow them treat the most advanced and complex cases.
Factors such as alcohol, smoking, stress or lack of exercise can cause or intensify arrhythmias. Your physician may recommend the elimination of alcohol, cigarettes or any other substances believed to be causing the problem.
Several medications are available that may be used to treat arrhythmias. If your physician recommends medication, the decision of which medication to use will be determined by the type of arrhythmia, other heart conditions that may be present, and other medications you may already be taking.
In this procedure, an electronic shock is delivered to the heart to stop the abnormal rhythm and return the heart to a normal rhythm. A Cardioversion is an outpatient procedure done while the patient is under anesthesia for a very brief period.
Catheter Ablation and Robotic Magnetic Guidance (Stereotaxis)
Catheter ablation is a nonsurgical procedure done in the electrophysiology laboratory, where catheters (thin, flexible wires) are inserted through a vessel in the groin and threaded to the heart using X-rays to guide its course. The cause of the arrhythmia is then determined, and radiofrequency waves are applied to the abnormal area to block the path of the arrhythmia. In some cases, cryoablation may be used, a treatment that freezes the abnormal arrhythmia path.
The Arrhythmia Center at Missouri Baptist is one of the few sites in the world to have experience with Stereotaxis Robotic Ablation. The Stereotaxis system is a robotic system where a soft, flexible catheter is magnetically guided inside the heart. The technology also uses a specialized computer process to create a three-dimensional map of the heart chamber. The Stereotaxis system offers improved accuracy and precision through computerized control of the catheter. It enhances the safety of the procedure and results in significantly less radiation exposure for the patient. Learn more about this new treatment option.
A permanent pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under the skin (most often in the shoulder area just under the collar bone), and sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat. Pacemakers are typically used for slow arrhythmias such as sinus bradycardia, sick sinus syndrome, or heart block.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device, similar to a pacemaker, which is implanted under the skin, often in the shoulder area just under the collarbone. An ICD senses the rate of the heartbeat. When the heart rate exceeds a rate programmed into the device, it delivers an electrical shock to the heart in order to restore the heart back to the more normal heart rhythm. All ICDs are combined with a pacemaker to deliver an electrical signal to regulate a heart rate that is too slow. ICDs are used for life-threatening arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation and are highly effective in preventing sudden cardiac death.
Surgery for atrial fibrillation is designed to restore patients to a regular heart rhythm, thereby reducing or eliminating the symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation. In addition, medications required to treat atrial fibrillation often can be stopped. Equally important, the long-term risk of stroke from atrial fibrillation can be reduced.
Missouri Baptist Medical Center cardiac surgeons have treated atrial fibrillation surgically since 2001. More than 70 modified MAZE procedures have been performed. This is the most effective treatment for atrial fibrillation to date. This operation involves isolating the triggers of atrial fibrillation, and more importantly, disrupting the electrical pathways responsible for maintaining atrial fibrillation once it develops. It is an open heart operation requiring an incision through the breastbone and the support of the heart-lung machine while operating inside the heart. Discrete lesions or scar tissue is created within the walls of the heart at precise locations using, most commonly, radiofrequency energy. This scar tissue is electrically insulated and acts to disrupt the abnormal electrical circuitry responsible for atrial fibrillation. In addition, at the end of the procedure the left atrial appendage (where clot commonly forms) is removed or tied off to help reduce the long-term risk of stroke. In the largest experience of MAZE procedures, no patient developed any sign of stroke up to 10 years out from surgery.
New Advance: Mini-MAZE Procedure
The Mini-MAZE procedure is a less invasive version of the traditional, open chest MAZE procedure, and is typically conducted as a treatment for atrial fibrillation in patients without other cardiac disorders.
The mini- Maze procedure involves small incisions on both sides of the rib cage under the armpits to address both the right and left side pulmonary veins. Using video guidance, bipolar radiofrequency energy is used to isolate and remove the area of the heart tissue where the arrhythmias originate.
For more information on arrhythmias or to schedule an appointment, call us at 314-996-3627 or contact us online.