Cardiac Arrhythmia Treatment & Management

Looking for Advanced Arrhythmia Treatment? Orange County Trusts Hoag.

Finding the right combination of medications, lifestyle changes and procedures to treat complex heart rhythm conditions can sometimes be a long and confusing process. Some patients with dangerous or difficult-to-control arrhythmias may even need a surgical procedure like cardiac ablation or an implanted medical device to help control the heart’s electrical activity.

At Hoag’s state-of-the-art Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute, our experienced electrophysiologists and heart rhythm team is always responsibly pushing the envelope when it comes to new and promising treatments for arrhythmias. From atrial fibrillation to more dangerous arrhythmias like ventricular tachycardia, as a high-volume arrhythmia treatment program in Orange County, Hoag has the deep experience and advanced treatment options you need to come back strong from a heart arrhythmia diagnosis.

With a program-wide focus on patient-centered, comprehensive care and follow-up, Hoag’s Heart Rhythm Program has helped thousands of Orange County patients achieve heart health, reduce symptoms and control their cardiac arrhythmia so they can get back to doing what they love. 

Read on to learn more about the treatment options for arrhythmia available at Hoag. If you are concerned about heart rhythm disorders, contact Hoag today through our online form or by calling 949-764-8111.

How is Arrhythmia Treated at Hoag?

At Hoag, treatment options for cardiac arrhythmia include:

Medical Management and Medication
  • Medical management is often part of the treatment plan for patients with mild or less dangerous types of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. The approach relies primarily on close supervision of the condition by Hoag’s team of arrhythmia specialists, along with lifestyle changes like getting more exercise, eating a heart-healthy diet, and taking prescribed medication as directed to help control the arrhythmia.
  • Medications utilized in the treatment of abnormal heartbeat may include anti-arrhythmics and anticoagulants to help prevent blood clots.
Surgical Procedures
  • Electrical Cardioversion: For cardiac arrhythmia patients whose symptoms aren’t well-controlled by medications alone, electrical cardioversion is an option available at Hoag in Orange County. During the procedure, an electrical shock is delivered to the heart. This shock can resynchronize the heart, disrupting the signals causing an abnormal heart rate or rhythm and allowing a normal rhythm to begin. Basically, it’s like rebooting the heart’s electrical system. This is often used in conjunction with medications.
  • Catheter Ablation: If other treatments are ineffective in controlling a patient’s abnormal heart rhythms, catheter ablation may be an option. Ablation treats an abnormal heart rhythm by burning or freezing specific portions of the heart that contribute to arrhythmias. This creates scar tissue which can disrupt the transmission of the signals responsible for abnormal heartbeats. During the procedure, an electrophysiologist guides a thin, flexible catheter through the cardiovascular system to the heart. Once in place, the catheter emits energy that destroys a portion of the heart tissue. Hoag’s team of cardiothoracic surgeons and electrophysiologists at the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute are experienced in catheter ablation.
  • Hybrid Surgical-Catheter Ablation: Also known as convergent ablation, hybrid surgical-catheter ablation combines catheter ablation and surgical ablation to treat difficult-to-control arrhythmia symptoms. Hoag is a national teaching center for Hybrid Surgical-Catheter Ablation, helping train surgeons from across the U.S. in this groundbreaking procedure. Visit this link to read the story of a Hoag Afib patient whose life was changed by the groundbreaking technique.
  • Total Thoracoscopic Maze Procedure: Hoag was the first cardiac treatment center in Orange County to use the Total Thoracoscopic Maze Procedure to treat chronic atrial fibrillation, and our advancement of this procedure has never stopped. During a Total Thoracoscopic Maze Procedure, instruments are inserted through incisions in the chest. A cardiovascular surgeon then ablates lines on the heart. These lines eventually form scar tissue, which can block or alter electrical signals that disrupt the heart’s rhythm and cause atrial fibrillation and other forms of arrhythmia.
  • Surgical ablation (Maze procedure) or surgical concomitant Maze: During a Maze procedure (also called a Cox Maze procedure), a cardiovascular surgeon makes a series of incisions in the right and left atriums (upper chambers) of the heart. As the incisions heal, scar tissue forms in the heart muscle. This scar tissue interrupts the transmission of the electrical signals that cause atrial fibrillation. When a Maze procedure is performed during bypass surgery or heart valve surgery, it’s known as a surgical concomitant Maze procedure.
  • Left Atrial Appendage Closure with the WATCHMAN™ LAA Implant: Left Atrial Appendage Closure that helps patients with persistent atrial fibrillation avoid blood clots, stroke and is an alternative to blood thinners by closing off the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA). The LAA is a small pouch in the wall of the left atrium of the heart. The majority of blood clots experienced by Afib patients begin in the LAA. By closing it off, the risk of stroke and the need to use blood thinners is greatly reduced for those with Afib. At Hoag, we utilize the advanced WATCHMAN LAA Closure Implant. The implant has helped more than 300,000 patients worldwide. Learn more about the WATCHMAN LAA Closure device.
Implantable Devices
  • Traditional Pacemaker: A pacemaker is a small medical device that is programmed to sense abnormal heart rhythms and produce electrical impulses that return the heart into a healthier and more normal rhythm. Usually, a traditional pacemaker is surgically implanted under the skin near the collarbone, and connected to the heart with thin wires, called “leads,” through a cardiac vein.
  • Leadless Pacemaker: Unlike a standard or traditional pacemaker device, a leadless pacemaker eliminates the need for wires connecting the device to the heart. Installed through less-invasive procedures, leadless devices provide fewer complications and a faster recovery for many patients with heart problems. Hoag was one of the first cardiac treatment centers in the United States to utilize the world’s first leadless, dual-chamber pacemaker, AVEIR™ DR by Abbott™. Visit this link to read the story of a lifelong athlete who got back in the game thanks to Hoag surgeons and this next-generation device. This leadless technology is available for single and dual chamber pacing.
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD): A small device that is usually implanted in the chest, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator detects life-threatening arrhythmias, then automatically delivers an electrical shock to restore the normal heart rhythm, reducing the risk of death during life-threatening arrhythmia event.
  • Biventricular Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator and/or Pacemaker: A specialized form of implantable ICD device, the Biventricular Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator is often recommended for patients with arrhythmia due to severe left ventricular heart failure. The biventricular ICD has leads (wires) that attach to the heart’s right ventricle and left ventricle (the lower chambers). Pacing both lower chambers can improve symptoms from heart failure and reduce morality.

Need Advanced Treatment Options for Cardiac Arrhythmia in Orange County? Hoag is at the Heart of Innovation.

Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute has been helping our neighbors in Irvine, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and other communities across Orange County find the advanced treatments they need for serious cardiac conditions, including heart failure, heart attack, coronary artery disease, long-term high blood pressure and more.

Our commitment to those with disorders like atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), ventricular tachycardia and other conditions that can cause irregular heartbeat is just as strong. From advanced diagnostic techniques to groundbreaking surgical procedures, arrhythmia management to next-generation implantable devices that can detect abnormal electrical signals in the heart and stop a potential cardiac arrest in its tracks, Hoag is always looking for the latest and most advanced treatment options for cardiac arrhythmia.

Visit our heart rhythm conditions page or arrhythmia diagnosis and testing page to learn more.

Contact Hoag’s Heart Rhythm Disorder Program by calling (949) 764-8111, or send a note to our team through our form.