Palmetto Health Heart Hospital is the first and only hospital in South Carolina to offer an Atrial Fibrillation & Arrhythmia Center.
Patients arriving at our center will be cared for by one of our expert cardiologists. Based on the individual patient’s needs, our physicians will create a plan of treatment that can include a range of options - from state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, to medications, atrial fibrillation ablations or surgery performed by a Carolina Cardiac Surgery Associates cardiovascular surgeon. Our goal is returning patients to their normal heart rhythms, while providing the latest treatment options.
Contact the Atrial Fibrillation & Arrhythmia Center at 803-434-7808.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, causing the upper chambers (atria) to quiver rapidly and ineffectively rather than pump rhythmically. It is due to a malfunction in the heart's electrical system.
AF can lead to rapid heart rhythm, where the heart can beat as much as 300 times or more in the atria and 150 times or more in the ventricles (lower chambers). AF can be detected with an electrocardiogram (EKG) - a simple, painless test that records the heart's electrical activity - or a cardiac monitor.
AF affects more than seven million people in the United States and Europe with expectations to double in the next 40 years.
What is an arrhythmia?
An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat that often results from a change or malfunction in the heart's conduction system. The conduction system is where normal electrical activity (impulses?) travel through the heart. An arrhythmia can occur when the heart's natural pacemaker develops an abnormal rate, the normal conduction pathway is interrupted, or another part of the heart takes over as pacemaker. Arrhythmias can be unusually fast, called tachycardia, or unusually slow, called bradycardia.
Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation
This safe and effective procedure involves a refrigerant being delivered through a balloon that is attached to a catheter guided into the heart. The refrigerant freezes the tissue and disables unwanted heart electrical currents that cause atrial fibrillation. The delivery by a balloon is revolutionary because of the continuous line of scar tissue around the pulmonary vein to stop the currents. This method has a low risk of complications and the majority of patients have been free from atrial fibrillation at one year with a reduction in symptoms, a decrease in drug therapy and substantial improvements in quality of life.