Heart Arrhythmia Treatments | Irregular Heartbeat Treatments | MedStar Health

Procedures to correct an irregular heartbeat

Heart arrhythmia treatments, also known as heart rhythm disorders, vary based on the type and severity of your condition. Some arrhythmias don’t need any treatment at all. Your doctor may recommend a procedure or treatment if you’re experiencing significant symptoms or if you’re at risk for developing more serious heart conditions.

The doctors in our Electrophysiology Program, use the latest treatments and technologies to care for patients with even the most complex arrhythmias. Our cardiac electrophysiologists see patients at multiple sites in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, so you can receive care close to home. We also have the most experienced specialists in the mid-Atlantic to use the WATCHMAN™ device, which can help prevent strokes caused by atrial fibrillation, a type of heart rhythm disorder.

In addition to medication and lifestyle changes, you may be a candidate for a number of therapies, implantable devices, or surgical procedures. We’ll work with you to decide which is best for your unique situation. Arrhythmia treatments and services are located in the Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Maryland areas.

Types of heart arrhythmia treatments

Your doctor may recommend one of the following treatment options if your heartbeat is too fast or irregular:

Implantable devices

Your doctor may recommend an implantable device for ongoing control of your heart rhythm condition. The devices we offer include:

Arrhythmia surgery options

  • You may need surgery if you haven’t responded to other forms of treatment. One such surgery is the Maze procedure, which creates a maze-like pattern of scar tissue on the heart to interfere with electrical signals causing your arrhythmia.

  • Another procedure is coronary artery bypass surgery. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you have severe coronary artery disease that’s causing your heart rhythm condition.

Irregular heartbeat types

Atrial Flutter

A type of irregular heart rhythm in which the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat too quickly.

Bundle Branch Block

Bundle branch blocks occur when the pathways that carry electrical impulses to the muscular walls of the two lower heart chambers, or ventricles, travel too slowly.

Premature Atrial Contractions (PACs)

Premature atrial contractions are an often-benign condition that causes you to feel as if your heart is skipping beats.

Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)

Premature ventricular contractions result in an extra heartbeat that starts in one of the heart’s lower chambers, the ventricles.

Supraventricular Tachycardia

Supraventricular tachycardia is an abnormally fast heartbeat that originates above the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers), in the atria (the heart’s upper chambers), or the AV node (the heart’s electrical system).

Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation is a type of heart rhythm disorder that prevents the heart from pumping blood. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate emergency care.

Ventricular Tachycardia

Ventricular tachycardia is a type of heart rhythm disorder in which the heart’s lower chambers beat dangerously fast.

Tests used to diagnose heart arrhythmia


An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Event Monitors

An event monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It’s similar to an electrocardiogram, but where an electrocardiogram takes place over a few minutes, an event monitor measures heart rhythms over a much longer time.

Holter Monitors

A Holter monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It’s similar to an electrocardiogram, but whereas an electrocardiogram records over a few minutes, a Holter monitor records over the course of a day or two.

Loop Recorder

A loop recorder is a device that’s implanted underneath the skin of your chest to record your heart rhythm for up to 3 years.

Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC, 20007

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

Additional information

Electrophysiology Program

We are leaders in developing and using the latest procedures and technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders, and our cardiac electrophysiology laboratory is one of the most sophisticated in North America.

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.