An estimated two million Americans live with an abnormal, often rapid or irregular heartbeat, called an arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia in which the atria (the two small upper chambers of the heart) beat chaotically. While there are a number of variations of atrial fibrillation with different causes, they all involve irregularities in the transmission of electrical impulses through the heart. As a result of these irregularities, the heart often beats very rapidly, and is not able to pump blood effectively, which can cause blood to pool and form clots. This situation can lead to stroke, congestive heart failure, or cardiomyopathy.
Other forms of arrhythmia include ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation (when the ventricle of the heart contracts too rapidly and, in the case of fibrillation, irregularly) and atrial flutter (rapid but even electrical signals coming from the atria of the heart).
NewYork-Presbyterian is a leader in arrhythmia control, combining the study, diagnosis, and treatment of heart rhythm disturbances in both adults and children. We offer our patients a range of treatment options for cardiac arrhythmias, including medication, catheter ablative techniques, and surgical ablation.