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UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center Brochure


Cardiac Arrhythmia SurgeonUCLA's Cardiac Arrhythmia Center offers one of the most comprehensive programs to treat complex arrhythmias in the United States.

UCLA's Cardiac Arrhythmia Center offers patients of all age groups the most advanced procedures for diagnosing and treating cardiac arrhythmias. The center works in coordination with cardiologists in the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, the UCLA Cardiac Surgery Program, and the Ahmanson-UCLA
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program.

The center's specialized multidisciplinary team includes electrophysiologists - cardiologists who have additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms - as well as medical cardiologists, surgeons, radiologists, anesthesiologists and nurse practitioners.

Cardiac Arrhythmia, Dr. ShivkumarWhat are Cardiac Arrhythmias?

Cardiac arrhythmias are disturbances in the regular rhythm of the heart. Problems with the heart muscle's electrical functioning tend to produce symptoms of palpitations (a pounding feeling) or sensations of the heart beating too rapidly or too slowly, causing feelings of fatigue or shortness of breath.

In most cases, arrhythmias are benign and can be controlled by lifestyle, diet modifications or medications. But for some people, serious consequences can develop if left untreated.

Common arrhythmias include:
Tachycardia: a fast heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute
Bradycardia: a slow heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute
Atrial fibrillation: a quivering, chaotic motion in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart, usually due to an underlying medical condition
Ventricular fibrillation: a life-threatening condition in which fibrillation occurs in the heart's lower chambers (ventricles)
Heart block: partial or complete impairment in the transmission of signals from the heart's upper chambers to its lower chambers, resulting in the improper beating of the heart

How are Arrhythmias Diagnosed?

The simplest diagnostic test to assess heart rhythm is the electrocardiogram (ECG). A Holter monitor is an ECG recorded over a 24-hour period to detect brief or unpredictable arrhythmias throughout the day.

Sometimes a monitor that can collect information over 30 days (and can transmit information over the phone) is also
used. Abnormal heart rhythms can also be detected using other diagnostic tools, including a treadmill test.

What are the Treatment Options?

The goal of treatment is to restore the heartbeat back to normal. Treatment options include taking medications, implanting devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators, and performing catheter ablations.

What are Implanted Devices?

Depending on the condition, the doctor may recommend the implantation of a device - a pacemaker or defibrillator -that helps regulate and maintain the heart's rate and rhythm. In general, pacemakers are used to treat slow heart rates and defibrillators are used to treat rapid heart rates. In more complex conditions, your doctor may recommend newer devices such as bi-ventricular pacemakers and bi-ventricular defibrillators.

Cardiac Arrhythmia EKGWhat is Catheter Ablation?

Catheter ablation is a procedure in which radiofrequency energy destroys the arrhythmia. The UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center uses electroanatomic mapping to enhance viewing and allow greater accuracy in ablating arrhythmias.

Minimally invasive surgical ablations use the latest fiberoptic technology to enable surgeons to perform surgeries through needle-sized holes with miniature instruments. Robotic techniques assist in minimally invasive surgeries with robotic instruments that allow surgeons more flexibility moving instruments inside the body.


UCLA's Cardiac Arrhythmia Center is located at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, with additional practice locations in Santa Monica and the Inland Empire. The center uses state-ofthe- art, dedicated electrophysiology laboratories when performing complex ablations and device implantations.

Special Programs and Services

Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death
Atrial Fibrillation
Ventricular Arrhythmias
Congenital Heart Disease Arrhythmias
Heart Failure/Resynchronization Therapy
Complex Ablation Program
Epicardial Ablation
Intra-operative Ablation
Laser Lead Extractions
Implanted Devices Clinic (Pacemakers and Defibrillators)
Neuromodulation for Arrhythmias

To schedule an appointment, or for patient related issues call (310) 206-2235.
For more information go to www.arrhythmia.ucla.edu
or email: arrhythmias@mednet.ucla.edu

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