At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, our physicians and medical teams are experts in cardiac electrophysiology: the diagnosis and treatment of complex cardiac heartbeat irregularities.
Since 1980, we’ve been leading the way in treating abnormal heart rhythms, and our experienced cardiologists are continually adopting new ways to repair hearts.
Known as electrophysiologists, our doctors have additional education and training in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms.
They are specialists at determining if there is a problem with your heartbeat and at correcting any irregularities using the latest technology.
Advanced Diagnostics and Leading Treatments
Heartbeat irregularities (arrhythmias) lead to a variety of serious health conditions. Our electrophysiologists diagnose and treat patients for nearly every condition affecting the heart’s electrical system.
Noninvasive Electrophysiology Tests
Cardiac Catheterization for Arrhythmias (Electrophysiology Studies)
Using 3D mapping and advanced cardiac catheterization techniques, we also diagnose and treat some of the most complex cardiac heartbeat irregularities (arrhythmias):
- Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
- Atrial Flutter
- Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
- Ventricular Arrhythmia: Ventricular Fibrillation (VF)
- Ventricular Arrhythmia: Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)
To diagnose and treat an arrhythmia, your doctor will insert one or more very thin tubes called catheters into the veins in your groin, arm or neck. At the tip of these catheters are electrodes, which are small pieces of metal that conduct electricity and evaluate your heart's electrical activity.
To guide the catheters to your heart, your doctor will use advanced computer technology called 3D mapping. At Alta Bates Summit, we have the latest means of EP diagnostics: the Carto™ XP EP Navigation and Ablation System as well as the Ensite® Mapping System from Endocardial Solutions, Inc. (ESI).
Very few medical centers in Northern California offer both of these state-of-the-art mapping systems that enable electrophysiologists to quickly locate an arrhythmia.
The Carto™ XP EP Navigation and Ablation System provides views into the electrical activity of the heart through three-dimensional, color-coded cardiac maps. In addition, the system precisely tracks catheter location in real-time. We can quickly diagnose arrhythmias based on color-coded, 3D electroanatomical maps.
The ESI Non-contact Mapping System uses a catheter that sits inside the heart without touching it. The system tracks 3,000 points of electrical activity to locate the irregularity in just one heartbeat. Once an arrhythmia is located, the non-contact system guides a conventional catheter to the location.
If we detect an abnormal heart rhythm, we can also correct it at the same time by performing a nonsurgical procedure known as ablation therapy or by implanting cardiac devices.
Ablation is a nonsurgical procedure that cures abnormal heart rhythms by ablating (destroying) the tiny areas of heart tissue causing the arrhythmias.
Using our advanced 3D mapping systems, we guide the catheter to the problem area and deliver energy—heat or freezing cold—to ablate only the heart tissue that is causing an irregular heartbeat. Because these areas of ablated tissue are very tiny, ablating them does not affect the heart’s ability to function.
We can also treat an abnormal heart rhythm by implanting a small cardiac device called a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to your heart muscle to maintain a normal heart rate and rhythm. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a pacemaker-like device implanted near the heart.
When an ICD detects a rapid heartbeat in the ventricles, it delivers an electric shock to stop life-threatening heart rhythms and restore the heart to a normal rhythm.
About the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence
At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, our heart specialists deliver compassionate patient care using leading-edge procedures, to patients living throughout the San Francisco East Bay area. While our cardiac services are located in Berkeley and Oakland, patients come to our heart center from Hayward, Pleasanton, Lafayette, and other East Bay communities as well as from greater California and the United States to seek the best cardiac hospital care available. Our experienced team of top heart and cardiovascular specialists strive to work with each patient to identify the best treatment options for heart and vascular conditions. Whether you need a top heart surgeon (or specialist), a cardiac specialist, a vascular or thoracic surgeon, or one of our best-in-class cardiothoracic specialists - our doctors, nurses and technologists will work with you to strive for the best cardiovascular care for your unique needs. We strive to be the best cardiac hospital not just in the San Francisco East Bay but for every patient who enters our heart center, whether they come from Oakland, Berkeley, or beyond the Bay Area.
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