Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia Specialist
Approximately 6.1 million Americans suffer from a problem with the rate or rhythm of their heartbeat, known as an arrhythmia. That number is expected to increase given our country’s aging population. At Chinatown Cardiology, with locations in the Chinatown section of New York City and Brooklyn and Flushing, New York, our team of board certified cardiologists are experts in diagnosing and treating arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation.

Arrhythmia Q & A

What is an arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation?

An arrhythmia is an electrical malfunction that causes the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. An irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of arrhythmia. When a person suffers from AF, cardiac signals are erratic, which contributes to the decline in cardiac pump efficiency, and thereby, increase the formation of blood clots that can lead to a stroke. An arrhythmia can also force the heart to overwork to the point heart failure.

What are the symptoms of AF?

While some people do not have any symptoms, others may feel palpitations - heart fluttering, fainting, and chest pain.  AF is often described as having difficulty breathing, even at rest.

How is AF diagnosed?

Our cardiologists begin by taking a complete medical history and conducting a thorough examination. From there, an electrocardiogram (EKG) may be recommended.  If AF is noticed to be intermittent, then this condition is most likely not seen on a typical EKG recording.  In this event, you may be advised to wear a small portable ECG instrument, known as a holter monitor, which records EKGs for 12-48 hours.

How is AF treated?

Early detection and prompt treatment can significantly reduce the risk of a stroke. With appropriate treatment, AF can be corrected. Options include:

  • Medication
  • Electrical Cardioversion, a procedure in which an electric current is used to reset the heart's rhythm back to its regular pattern (normal sinus rhythm).
  • Ablation catheter ablation, a minimally invasive procedure in which your cardiologist destroys tiny areas in the heart that are firing off abnormal electrical impulses and causing AF.
  • Cryoablation, a minimally invasive procedure in which a thin flexible tube, known as a balloon catheter, is inserted to locate and freeze the heart cells responsible for AF.
  • A pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, which are small devices surgically implanted underneath the skin to maintain the pace of your heart. An electrophysiologic study (EPS) will determine whether a pacemaker is appropriate.
Our Locations

For General Questions, please call 212-334-3507