Looking after your heart


Your appointment with our consultants will provide you with a detailed clinical assessment. Diagnostic tests will determine the type and severity of your heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia). Your doctor will then discuss with you the most suitable treatment options.



 There are a number of drugs that can be used to treat your arrhythmia. Anti-arrhythmic drugs are medicines that change the electrical signals in your heart and help prevent irregular or rapid heart rhythms.


Permanent Pacemaker

 If you have a slow heart rate your doctor may recommend you have a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a small device used to treat slow heart rhythms, it is implanted beneath the skin below the collarbone and connected to a pacing wire placed inside the heart. The pacemaker delivers a small electrical impulse to stimulate the heart to beat when it is going too slow.


Catheter Ablation

 If you have an extra electrical pathway or group of cells your doctor will advise you to have a radiofrequency catheter ablation. A radiofrequency catheter ablation blocks the area of extra electrical activity causing the arrhythmias, providing relief for those of you who may not have responded well to medications, or for whatever reason would rather not or cannot take medications. This technique has a high percentage of successfully “curing” many types of arrhythmias.


Electrical Cardioversion

 Internal cardioversion is a coordinated energy electrical shock delivered across the chest wall and the heart. During the cardioversion procedure, you will be given a short acting sedative to make you sleepy. Cardioversion is performed using two adhesive pads across the chest surface which are connected to an external defibrillator to return a patient’s rhythm back to a normal sinus rhythm.


Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator

 This is a device for people who are at risk of life threatening heart rhythms. It is slightly larger than a pacemaker and usually implanted beneath the skin below the collarbone. It is connected to defibrillation/pacing wire(s) positioned inside the heart via a vein. It has the ability to determine and stop fast ventricular arrhythmias by using extra paced beats or delivering an electric shock to the heart. It is also capable of pacing the heart to stop it from going too slow.


Our specialist doctors are here to guide you through every part of your procedure


Learn more about the treatment or procedure you are about to have


Without a doubt you will have questions, check out this handy resource


Heart Rhythm Clinic is based at Spire Southampton Hospital but also consults in Lymington, Sarum Road (Winchester) and the Nuffield Hospital, Southampton.