Procedures and Services

Listed below are the available services of Houston Arrhythmia Associates with a brief description.

EKG
An electrical recording of the heart activity used to study the electrical function of the heart.

Echocardiogram
An echocardiogram (also called an echo) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves that are sent through a device called a transducer. The device picks up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of your heart. These echoes are turned into moving pictures of your heart that can be seen on a video screen.

Biventricular Pacing Optimization
Biventricular pacing is important therapy for congestive heart failure, reversing left ventricular dysfunction in dilated cardiomyopathy. Although left ventricular lead location and right ventricular–left ventricular delay are believed to be critical in biventricular pacing, there is no established technique for optimizing pacing site and timing.
          
Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation
Catheter ablation is a technique in which a thin tube, or catheter, is inserted through the blood vessels to the heart to treat arrhythmias.

Radiofrequency catheter ablation treats abnormal areas in the heart.  It can reliably and accurately  destroy a small, targeted area of tissue without affecting healthy structures beyond the treatment site.
External Event Recorder
Event recorders are use to obtain more information about the irregular HR or symptoms that a patient feels. It can be kept for 30 days or longer. When you feel a symptom, you simply press the button and your heart's rhythm will be recorded and stored. Periodically, you will transmit these recordings to us over the telephone. The technician will review your rhythm and submit it to our cardiologists for evaluation.



Tilt Table Testing
In a tilt table study, the patient is placed on a table, which is then mechanically tilted to an upright position. While monitoring the pulse, blood pressure, electrocardio

gram, and sometimes blood oxygen saturation, the patient is left in a “motionless standing position” for 20 to 30 minutes. At times, the medications are 

administered to thoroughly evaluate patients for causes of syncope (fainting). If syncope occurs the relationship of blood pressure results and heart rate to the fainting event will help physicians guide therapy.
Remote ICD/PPM Monitoring

Implantable defibrillators /Permanent Pacemakers are implanted in patients with cardiovascular disease for an ever-increasing array of indications. Today's technology allows physcians to monitor patients closely and more thoroughly using remote access devices which can transmit information from the implanted device via a telephone line (or satellite) and the Internet to your physician's office.
Internal Looping Recorder Implantation
An event recorder device is inserted just under the patient’s skin in the chest area during an outpatient surgical procedure. When symptoms are felt, the patient places a hand-held activator over the recorder to activate the storage of cardiac
rhythms. This device can be used for more than 1 year.

Remote ICD/PPM Implantation
Implantable Cardiodefibrillator /Permanent Pacemakers are implanted in patients with cardiovascular disease for an ever-increasing array of indications. Intensivists provide care frequently for patients who have these devices, and thus, they must be familiar with common problems and nuances that may contribute to critical illness. Close collaboration of the critical care physician and cardiologist/electrophysiologist assures that pacemakers and defibrillators are tuned to optimize the hemodynamic milieu of critically ill patients. Many recent advances in the sophistication of implanted devices are reviewed herein.

Internal  Defibrillator Implantation
An internal defibrillator (sometimes also called an implantable defibrillator or ICD) is a small cardiac pacemaker-like device, which is implanted under the skin in the ches’t area. It monitors the heart rate and rhythm via leads inserted into blood vessels, which connect the ICD to the heart. Like a pacemaker, it can prebent slow heart rates but unlike a pacemaker, it can recognize abnormally fast (life-threatening) heart rhythms and send an electrical signal to correct this racing. studies have shown a significant reduction in sudden cardiac death (cardiac arrest) in high-risk patients (such as patients with coronary artery disease and those with cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle weakness) after ICD implantation. Certain ICDs can even improve congestive heart failure symptoms (i.e. Bi- Ventricular pacing ICD).

Pacemaker Implantation
A pacemaker is a small device implanted under the skin of the chest, which is connected to the heart with wires (leads). This device monitors the heart rate and if the need arises (i.e. the heart rate is too slow) it will send elecrical signals to accelerate the heart rate.