Programs & Treatments
How can heart arrhythmia be treated?
There are many treatment options for heart arrhythmias. These options will depend on your child’s health, the type of arrhythmia he or she has, and the severity of the arrhythmia.
At the Heart Institute, your child’s pediatric cardiologist will work with the arrhythmia team to develop the treatment plan that’s best for your child. Common treatments for arrhythmia are:
• Lifestyle changes: Stress and caffeine can trigger arrhythmias or make them worse. Your cardiologist may recommend that your child avoid these or other lifestyle factors.
• Medication: There are many medications that help regulate heartbeats (known as antiarrhythmics). These medications are specific to slow heartbeats (bradycardia) or fast heartbeats (tachycardia). The medications your pediatric cardiologist prescribes will depend on what other medications your child may be taking.
• Cardiac catheterization: Catheter ablation is one treatment specialists at the Heart Institute use to correct an arrhythmia. In this minimally invasive, transcatheter procedure, doctors insert a catheter through the leg veins and into heart chambers to burn (radiofrequency) or freeze (cryoenergy) and eliminate the sources of heart irregularities. More than 90% of the time, this permanently cures the arrhythmia and no further treatment or activity limitations are necessary.
• Medical implants: Cardiologists at the Heart Institute may suggest implanting a medical device that controls the electrical impulses of your child’s heart. A pacemaker and implanted defibrillator are two types of implanted medical devices used for arrhythmia.
• Heart surgery: Surgery is an option for children with severe arrhythmias that have not responded to other treatments. A cardiothoracic surgeon will examine the heart and remove the tissue that is creating the abnormal electrical activity.
Learn more about our Arrhythmia Center.
Living with arrhythmia
With regular follow-up care, children with controlled arrhythmia can lead normal, healthy lives. Talk to your child’s cardiologist about the signs and symptoms of arrhythmia so you’re able to recognize any changes or potential problems with your child’s condition.