AFib and heart rhythm disorders

Heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) are caused by malfunctions in the electrical system of the heart. If you have a rhythm disorder, your heart beats too slowly, too quickly or erratically. The Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center® located in the Heart Hospital of Edward-Elmhurst Health offers innovative technology and comprehensive care for heart rhythm disorders.

Rhythm disorders we treat

Many common arrhythmias are harmless, but some arrhythmias are serious, significantly raising your risk of stroke and heart failure. Our highly-trained electrophysiologists are experts in treating rhythm disorders, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib) – Rapid and irregular electrical impulses in the upper heart chambers
  • Atrial flutter – Rapid electrical circuits in the upper chambers of the heart
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) – Rapid rhythms from the upper heart chambers
  • Premature contractions – Early heart beats from the upper or lower heart chambers
  • Bradycardia – Slow heart rate
  • Ventricular tachycardia – Rapid rhythms from the lower heart chambers
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome – Congenital electrical disorder that can cause fast heart rhythms and sudden cardiac arrest
  • Sudden cardiac arrest – Sudden death due to very rapid rhythms from the lower chambers of the heart
  • Inherited conditions that increase the risk for arrhythmias and sudden cardiac arrest, including Long QT Syndrome, Brugada Syndrome, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia, and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Technology for improved AFib diagnosis

Elmhurst Hospital was the first hospital in Illinois to use cryoballoon ablation for AFib, now the first-line ablation technology for treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Elmhurst Hospital was also the first hospital in Illinois to use Topera, a 3D heart-mapping system that pinpoints the exact source of electrical abnormalities that cause A-Fib, which allows our doctors to better target A-Fib treatments and achieve more effective results.

Innovative treatment of rhythm disorders

Edward-Elmhurst Health gives you access to the full range of treatment options, such as medication, cardioversion and ablation, including cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation. 

Implantable devices include:

  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy - defibrillator (CRT-D)
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy - pacemaker (CRT-P)
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Loop recorder
  • Pacemaker

We continually introduce new technology to treat rhythm disorders and take pride in our many firsts, including:

Watchman™ alternative to blood thinners

Edward was the first hospital to bring the Watchman device — a technology that provides an alternative to long-term use of blood thinners — to the Chicago area. Because AFib comes with a serious risk of stroke, many patients are placed on medication to prevent clots. The Watchman device eliminates the need for blood thinners by preventing harmful-size clots from exiting the heart and entering the bloodstream.

LINQ implantable cardiac monitor

Elmhurst Hospital was first to bring LINQ — the smallest wireless cardiac monitor available — to the western suburbs. During an outpatient procedure, the LINQ monitor is placed just beneath the skin where it’s nearly undetectable. The monitor can remain in place for up to three years, which increases the chances of detecting an abnormal rhythm. It transmits information to physicians on a daily basis so they can monitor changes in heart rhythms and intervene before issues become more serious.

Education and support for arrhythmia patients

If you’ve been diagnosed with a rhythm disorder, we’re here to help you learn to manage your health and reclaim your life.

Explore resources for a Healthy Driven life.

AFib Wellness Clinic

Following treatment for a rhythm disorder, it helps to have support as you begin to manage your condition. Our outpatient AFib Clinic is a one-stop location for all your needs.

We’ll provide medical monitoring and coordinate care with your primary doctor and cardiac specialist. Our team will work with you to modify your health habits, change your diet and reduce your stress—all factors associated with arrhythmia. A physician’s order is required to participate in the clinic.

Heart and vascular locations