From time to time, your heart may flutter or feel like it skips a beat, but if these issues persist, you may have premature ventricular contractions. At Michigan Heart Rhythm Center in Southeast Michigan, experienced cardiologist Dr. Zahwe offers innovative diagnostic testing, including electrocardiograms (ECGs), to identify the cause of heart flutters. He also creates a custom treatment plan using lifestyle changes and medications to restore a normal heartbeat. Learn more about your options for treating premature ventricular contractions by calling the office or booking a consultation online today.
Premature ventricular contractions are extra heartbeats that start in one of the two lower chambers of your heart. The extra beats can interfere with the normal rhythm of your heart, giving you sensations like a skipped heartbeat or a fluttering heart rate.
While an occasional heart flutter or skipped beat isn’t serious, experiencing chronic fluttering sensations or a pounding heart could mean you need medical treatment to prevent additional health complications.
The sinus node, a group of specialized cells, controls your heart rhythm. The sinus node produces electrical impulses that travel from the atria, or upper heart chambers, to the lower chambers, or ventricles. These impulses trigger the contraction of your heart, which helps pump blood to the rest of your body.
Premature ventricular contractions begin in the lower chambers and often beat sooner than your usual heartbeat. As a result, they disrupt the normal pumping process.
It’s not well understood what causes the extra beats, but you may be at increased risk for developing them if you have existing heart disease or damage to the heart muscle. In some cases, the use of cold medications or illegal drugs can increase your heartbeat and result in premature ventricular contractions.
Dr. Zahwe uses the latest technology to diagnose premature ventricular contractions in-office. He can evaluate your heart health using ECG testing, which records your heart’s electrical signals.
You may also need to use a Holter monitor, a device you wear that records your heart’s activity for up to 48 hours. This information gives Dr. Zahwe valuable information about your heart rhythms and other activity.
Initially, Dr. Zahwe may recommend changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of worse arrhythmia-related symptoms or other heart conditions. These changes may include quitting smoking and limiting your caffeine.
For some, beta blockers and other heart medications may help reduce your blood pressure and prevent premature ventricular contractions. Dr. Zahwe can also provide resources to reduce your stress, one possible cause of an irregular heartbeat.
If your condition doesn’t respond to these therapies, Dr. Zahwe may recommend radiofrequency catheter ablation, which uses radiofrequency energy to remove heart tissue that may be triggering abnormal contractions and cure the premature ventricular contractions.
If you have concerns about heart flutters or skipped beats, don’t delay a diagnosis. Schedule a consultation today at Michigan Heart Rhythm Center online or by phone.