Heart & Vascular

Heart Rhythm Disorders

Atrial Fibrillation

If your heart beats irregularly, either too fast or too slow, you may have what's called a heart rhythm disorder. There are many different types of heart rhythm problems but all result when the electrical impulses of the heart don't work correctly. Some heart rhythm disorders are serious, even life-threatening, while others are not.


In order to diagnose your heart rhythm disorder and guide the care you will receive, Carilion doctors use tests such as:

  • Ambulatory cardiac monitoring / Holter monitors
  • Tilt table testing
  • Coronary angiography
  • EKG
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrophysiology study (EPS)


Carilion Clinic is a leader in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders, offering innovative therapies not available at other hospitals in western Virginia. Our electrophysiologists (doctors who specialize in treating electrical or heart rhythm disorders) specialize in performing a variety of sophisticated procedures that use advanced technology to help, even fix, heart rhythm disorders. These may include:

  • Biventricular Pacemaker implantation, to synchronize the heart and improve function.
  • Defibrillator/Pacemaker Insertion, to monitor heart rate and provide a shock, as needed, while also helping the heart to beat regularly and at an appropriate rate.
  • Catheter ablation, a minimally-invasive treatment that uses an electrode catheter to eliminate abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation.
  • Cryothermal ablation, an extremely cold energy source used to eliminate abnormal heart rhythms including atrial fibrillation offering an improved safety profile over traditional ablation techniques.
  • Minimally invasive MAZE procedure, an advanced surgical-based treatment for patients with more advanced forms of atrial fibrillation.

Conditions we treat for heart rhythm disorders

Atrial Fibrillation

Carilion Clinic's electrophysiology team is the first in the region to offer patients the following treatment options:

Boston Scientific SQ-ICD Device

This device can monitor the heart without actually touching it.

This is a completely subcutaneous cardiac defibrillator, meaning recipients of this device will not have any hardware inside the circulation system or inside the heart. The SQ-ICD device is placed just under the skin. It can monitor and send a pulse to the heart without actually touching it.

We are excited to offer this new device to our patients who need an implantable cardiac defibrillator for prevention of sudden cardiac death, and at the same time who have no existing indication for cardiac pacemaker.
- Soufian AlMahameed, M.D.

BiotroniK Single Lead Dual Chamber ICD Device

Additional electrodes enable the lead to record electrical signals from the upper chambers of the heart.

This device offers the ability to detect electrical signals from two cardiac chambers with a single lead. It enhances the detection of silent atrial fibrillation and may reduce the short and long term device-related complications. The device can also serve as a pacemaker.

Multimedia Gallery

What is the difference between a regular echocardiogram and a TEE?

Heart Rhythm Disorders