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Second opinion service

When making a decision about your heart treatment, a second opinion provides reassurance and confidence that your treatment plan is the best option for your condition. Learn more about our cardiology second opinion service or call 913-588-1227 to schedule an appointment.

Heart Rhythm Disorders

The heart's electrical system is responsible for sending signals that tell the heart when to beat. Heart rhythm disorders occur when here is improper electrical activity in the heart, resulting in an abnormal or chaotic heart rhythm. Both children and adults can have abnormal heart rhythms. Some abnormal rhythms are inherited while others may develop as the result of another heart condition, such as a heart attack.

The Center for Advanced Heart Care at The University of Kansas Health System provides the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment options for heart rhythm disorders in Kansas City. Request your appointment online or call 913-588-1227 to schedule an appointment.

About heart rhythm disorders

The heart's electrical system is comprised of several parts that must communicate with one another to work effectively. A normal heart beat is caused by an electrical signal running from top to bottom in the heart. This electrical signal tells the heart when and how to beat. The normal electrical signal:

  • Starts at the top of the heart (the sinus node)
  • Spreads its message across both the upper chambers of the heart (the right and left atria)
  • Travels through the gateway between the upper and lower chambers of the heart (the AV node)
  • Reaches the bottom of the heart
  • Spreads the signal to both lower chambers (the right and left ventricles)

When an electrical signal follows this normal pathway, the heart beats in a regular, organized rhythm. In an abnormal heartbeat, electrical pulses are disorganized — causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow or in an irregular or abnormal way. An irregular heartbeat is also referred to as arrhythmia.

Types of heart rhythm disorders

There are many types of heart rhythm disorders. Our heart rhythm experts at the Richard and Annette Bloch Heart Rhythm Center provide accurate diagnosis and a variety of treatments for the following conditions:

  • Atrial fibrillation/Atrial flutter
  • Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are two of the most common types of irregular heart rhythm. Both conditions are types of supraventricular tachycardia. 
  • Supraventricular tachycardia
  • This type of heart rhythm disorder causes a rapid heartbeat and includes conditions like atrial tachycardia, AV reentrant tachycardia and AV node reentrant tachycardia.
  • Ventricular tachyarrhythmias
  • Ventricular tachyarrhythmias are fast heart rhythms that occur in the heart ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart. Ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation are two of the most dangerous and life-threatening types of ventricular tachyarrhythmias.
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Without proper treatment, some heart rhythm disorders can lead to sudden cardiac death.
  • Syncope
  • Syncope is more commonly known as fainting or passing out. It refers to a temporary state of unconsciousness and is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, creating a shortage of oxygen.
  • Bradycardia
  • Bradycardia refers to a slower than normal heart rate that is under 60 beats per minute. Bradycardia does not always cause symptoms or problems, but it can be life-threatening if the heart doesn't pump enough blood to support the body's functions.
  • Inherited heart rhythm disorders
  • Inherited heart rhythm disorders are passed down through genetics. However, not all people who have a family history of heart arrhythmia will inherit a heart rhythm disorder. Early detection and diagnosis is critical.

Diagnosis and treatment

The treatment options available at The University of Kansas Health System for abnormal heart rhythm disorders reflect today's most trusted techniques and advanced technology. Your physician will develop a treatment plan based on your unique condition and medical history. 

Learn more

    Understanding your diagnosis is critical to forming expectations about outcomes. Find information about what to expect before, during and after your heart rhythm disorder treatment.
    Treatment recommendations for heart rhythm disorders might include lifestyle changes, drug therapy, cardiac device implantation, minimally invasive surgery and/or open surgical procedures.