or AF is a heart rhythm
disturbance caused by chaotic electrical activity in the upper chambers of the
heart (atrium). This can cause the heart to beat irregularly and usually faster
than usual resulting in palpitations. Treatment options include reducing the
palpitations or stopping the AF and restoring normal rhythm - which requires
medication or ablation.
Ablation is a term that describes some general procedures,
and it involves modifying small parts of the heart muscle responsible for abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations. This is usually done by heating the
area with radiofrequency electric current with a wire or catheter that’s put in
direct contact with the heart muscle. Common ablation techniques are atrial
fibrillation ablation, flutter ablation, supra-ventricular tachycardia ablation
and ventricular tachycardia ablation.
Cryoablation is a newer technique that uses freezing rather
than heat to solve rhythm problems – and can be a better treatment for some
Atrial flutter is caused by a single short circuit
often in the top right chamber of the heart and is treated by medication to
reduce the risk of stroke – or again via ablation.
Heart murmurs are usually discovered by a stethoscope
and they may indicate a problem with the heart valves. But they can also be
benign. An echocardiogram is the best way to determine the cause of a murmur.
High blood pressure or hypertension is incredibly
common in the UK. Individuals with high
blood pressure are often not aware if it because in the early stages it does
not make you feel unwell. Left untreated, however, high BP can lead to all
kinds of serious problems including heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.
Coronary heart disease can first present as chest
pain, light-headedness, nausea, shortness of breath or pain and discomfort in
the arms or shoulders. Angina or narrowing of the coronary arteries is a common
form of heart disease and this can also present as tightness or heaviness in
the upper body as well as indigestion. Coronary heart disease may have no
initial symptoms and it may be picked up by routine scans.
Get an appointment with a leading heart specialist at BMI The Priory by booking online.