Dr Begley is a Cardiologist located in Cambridge who specialises in cardiac rhythm management. This is the investigation of and treatment for heart rhythm problems or arrhythmias.
A thorough assessment is needed to establish the cause of your symptoms and prepare treatment for heart rhythm abnormalities. An appropriate management plan can be put in place to help ease the symptoms through the use of management, medication or surgery.
How you describe your symptoms will often help narrow down the possibilities. However, there are various tests that can be undertaken to help understand your symptoms and prepare treatment for Heart Rhythm Problems.
Undergoing an ECG
Correlation of your symptoms with an electrocardiogram (ECG) recording is essential for an accurate diagnosis. If you already have an ECG during symptoms, please bring a copy with you to your initial consultation.
A resting ECG can often provide a clue to the diagnosis even when recorded in the absence of any symptoms. Patients with a normal resting ECG are unlikely to have a dangerous rhythm abnormality. The likelihood of this is even less if the heart is normal. A simple ultrasound scan of the heart (echocardiogram) can detect many structural abnormalities.
Continuous or intermittent ambulatory ECG monitoring can help capture symptoms that are intermittent. If that is unsuccessful, insertion of an implantable loop recorder under the skin can help with symptoms that only occur occasionally. If symptom-rhythm correlation still remains elusive a diagnostic electrophysiology study can be performed.
Diagnostic Electrophysiology Study
This invasive test is performed in a catheter laboratory at the hospital which is similar to an operating room. You are required to lie flat during the study during which fine wires are inserted into the heart with x-ray guidance through the vein at the top of your leg.
These wires are used to record the signals from within your heart and can be used to stimulate it in order to diagnose the problem. This should not be painful but you may experience symptoms similar to your usual palpitations.
Treatment for Heart Rhythm Problems
Depending on the results of the assessment, treatment options will range from management with medicines, catheter ablation or insertion of a cardiovascular implantable electronic device such as a pacemaker or cardioverter-defibrillator.
Energy is delivered through one of the wires in your heart to damage the abnormal electrical circuits responsible for your symptoms. This can be carried out at the same time as the diagnostic electrophysiology study or at a later stage.
Please discuss with your general practitioner whether referral is appropriate. If you think you might have experienced symptoms that are related to heart rhythm disturbance or have been diagnosed.
Make An Appointment
To make an appointment to discuss the treatment of Heart Rhythm Problems with Dr Begley, please contact his secretary Lynn Thomas or call 01223 850 423.