The sound of a steady heartbeat can be a soothing sign that all is well. However, if a heart’s rhythm becomes abnormally fast, slow or irregular, it’s important to find the cause. With expert evaluation, cardiologists can identify the problem and provide the right kind of care.

Electrophysiologists at the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center treat children and adults with a wide array of heart rhythm disorders. We specialize in treating abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. Whether the condition is simple or complex, you’re assured of expert, individualized evaluation and treatment.

Understanding Arrhythmias

The heart’s electrical system works around the clock to keep your heart pumping in a steady, organized way. It signals the heart muscle to pump or relax, automatically adjusting to a body’s changing needs – whether it’s a child at rest or an adult running a marathon.

An arrhythmia is a disorder of the electrical signals managing heart rate and rhythm. Disruptions to this intricate system can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. Some arise from abnormal prenatal heart development and structural heart defects. Others are part of more inborn electrical problems.

Genetic or inherited arrhythmias typically appear in more than just one family member. They are often serious and potentially life-threatening. Any child born with congenital heart disease has a higher risk of an arrhythmia throughout life. This may be due to the effects of heart disease over time or other conditions such as surgical scarring. Arrhythmias can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood, and without expert care, may lead to organ damage or other serious complications, including heart failure.

Signs and Symptoms

Certain congenital heart problems have no symptoms but are found during a routine exam or when problems occur later in life. 

Some arrhythmias cause obvious symptoms, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Racing or erratic heartbeat
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain

At the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center, we offer comprehensive screening and diagnosis to find and treat arrhythmias in children and adults. 

Heart-Smart Care

Electrophysiologists are cardiologists who specialize in treating disorders of the heart’s electrical system. They are sometimes called the electricians of the heart. The advanced-trained electrophysiology team at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Heart Center offer sophisticated care, programs and services with sensitivity to the unique needs of each individual at any age. 

Therapies for heart rhythm disorders depend on the type of arrhythmia. Some go away on their own or with a short course of medication, requiring only minimal follow-up evaluation. Others require long-term medication and advanced therapies.

Our services include electrophysiology (EP) studies, which evaluate electrical activity and assist in arrhythmia diagnosis and care. Other therapies range from minimally invasive catheter ablation to implantable cardiac devices.
At the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center, we diagnose and treat a wide array of heart rhythm disorders and related conditions. If you are concerned about a potential heart rhythm disorder or an inherited condition, our specialists are here to help you.