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Normally, electricity flows through the heart in a regular pattern. This electricity is what causes the heart to contract. Sometimes the electricity gets blocked or some kind of "short circuit" occurs causing an abnormal heart beat or rhythm called an arrhythmia.
Cook Children's Heart Center offers ablation procedures (erasing tissue where the short circuit is occuring), implantation of pacemakers (a device that triggers the heart to beat) and defibrillators (a device that sends electricity to the heart to restore a normal rhythm), as well as follow-up.
Electrophysiology studies are tests that examine the electrical activity in the heart. They help determine the type and location of a specific arthymia along the pathway where electricity travels. If the arrthymia is found, radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) and cryoablation can be used to eliminate the arrhythmia.
Catheter ablation is often used to correct abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias. Matt Dzurik, M.D., and Chris Case, M.D., are cardiologists who excel in the use of RFCA, especially in young children. RFCA includes imaging and treatment.
Cardiologists use a detailed view of the heart to identify abnormal tissue that is the cause of an irregular heartbeat. Cook Children's was the first pediatric facility in the U.S. to use EnSite 3000® computerized mapping and imaging software to help identify the source of an arrhythmia.
A catheter (a narrow, flexible wire) is inserted through a vein in the child's leg or elbow. The catheter is routed to the heart to the site of the arrhythmia. Electromagnetic energy destroys abnormal tissue and leaves surrounding healthy tissue unaffected. Following RFCA, many children are able to enjoy healthy lives without heart problems.
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