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What is a Heart Rhythm Disorder?

A Heart Rhythm Disorder (arrhythmia) happens when the electrical impulses that cause the heart to pump are too fast, too slow, or irregular. While usually not life-threatening, a heart rhythm disorder may deprive your  brain and other organs of the oxygen-rich blood they need. That's why it's important to talk with your doctor if you suspect you have an arrhythmia. 

Advanced Treatment for Heart Rhythm Disorders

Erlanger offers the most advanced treatment techniques for heart rhythm disorders. In fact, we serve as an international physician training center for cutting-edge procedures like laser lead extraction and subcutaneous-ICD implantation. Our team is also involved in clinical trials for cardiac resynchronization therapy and cardiac ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that can often cure this common heart problem. Our goal is to effectively manage your heart rhythm disorder, and restore your quality of life.

Erlanger Is a Leader in Heart Rhythm Disorder Treatment and Training

  • The first right-ventricular assist device in Chattanooga
  • The first laser lead extraction in Chattanooga
  • The first subcutaneous ICD in the region and the only training center for this procedure in Tennessee
  • The first percutaneous endovascular balloon for lead extraction in Tennessee to prevent serious complications
  • The first multi-point pacing for heart failure in Chattanooga
  • The only atrial fibrillation center in Chattanooga

Heart Rhythm Disorders (Arrhythmias) We Treat

Erlanger Cardiology offers world-renowned expertise in treating all types of heart rhythm disorders, including those listed below. We are also home to the region’s only Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Center, a major treatment and research center focused on the most common heart rhythm disorder.

Heart rhythm management services

  • Advanced diagnostics – We offer a the latest technology for detecting heart rhythm disorders including electrocardiograms (EKG), echocardiograms ( Echo), portable monitors and sleep studies. We have specialized expertise in the implantable loop recorder, a tiny device that records data about the heart for up to two years.
  • Cardiac Ablation – This procedure uses radiofrequency energy to destroy a small area of heart tissue causing rapid and irregular heartbeats. Learn more.
  • Laser Lead Extraction – When a cardioverter device or pacemaker malfunctions, or fibrous tissue builds up on the wire leads connecting to the heart muscle, removal/extraction of those leads is sometimes required. Erlanger is a teaching center in this specialized procedure. Learn more.
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)  – This procedure places a specialized pacemaker just below the collarbone to detect heart rate irregularities and emit tiny pulses of electricity to correct them. Erlanger is a leader of national clinical trials for CRT. 
  • Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Procedures – If an abnormal heart rhythm is detected, this battery-powered device placed under the skin will deliver an electric pulse to restore a normal heartbeat. Erlanger was the first health system in the region to perform this procedure and is now an international training center, instructing physicians from around the world in the latest ICD techniques. Learn more.
  • Comprehensive Vascular and Arrhythmia (CVA) Clinic for Stroke Patients - Our CVA Clinic is a collaboration between Erlanger’s cardiology and neurology areas to help patients who’ve had an unexplained stroke. This clinic can determine if a “silent" arrhythmia caused the stroke – and can be treated to prevent future strokes. Learn more.

Related Services

Our Electrophysiology Team