I am a therapist treating a client who has had two ablations and has been recently told a pacemaker is the primary form of treatment to asssit with her arrhythmia. My client is extemely skeptical, and fearful of this option. This is outside my scope of practice (cardiac issues) and I thought some peer support may assist with my client's decision making process.

Does anyone know of any support groups in the greater Toronto area that I could refer the client to??


Arrhythmia Treatments

by SMITTY - 2007-04-19 06:04:34

Possibly the following will help convince your client that pacemakers are almost standard treatment for arrhythmia. If she would like to see more proof, a visit to Google and input "Arrhythmia Treatments" may help even more more.

I wish her luck


Treatment of Arrhythmia at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center

Arrhythmia Treatments

Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation
Generally considered the preferred first-treatment method for many types of arrhythmias difficult to treat with medications, catheter ablation causes little discomfort and is performed under mild sedation with local anesthesia. One or more catheters are threaded through the blood vessels to the inner heart, positioned along electrical pathways suspected of causing the arrhythmia. Electrodes at the catheter tips are heated with radiofrequency energy, which destroys (ablates) a small spot of heart tissue and creates an electrical block along the pathway causing your arrhythmia. Radiofrequency catheter ablation is most commonly used to treat —

• AV nodal reentry tachycardia
• Accessory pathways
• Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter
• Ventricular tachycardia

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
An electronic device that constantly monitors the heart rate and rhythm, and ICD delivers energy to the heart muscle when it detects a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm, causing the heart to beat in a normal rhythm again. Primary candidates for ICDs include patients with previous episodes of sudden cardiac death or ventricular fibrillation; previous heart attack victims at high risk for sudden cardiac death; patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; or patients with at least one episode of ventricular tachycardia. The ICD is programmed to include one or all of the following functions:

• Anti-tachycardia pacing
• Cardioversion
• Defibrillation
• Bradycardia pacing

Using a small, battery-powered generator to deliver timed, electrical impulses to the heart muscle through tiny wire leads, a pacemaker helps a patient’s heart beat in a regular rhythm. Traditional pacemakers may have one lead, pacing only the ventricles or the atria, or two leads, pacing both chambers. A more recent innovation in the treatment of arrhythmias, a biventricular pacemaker uses three leads to treat the delay in heart ventricle contractions. This new therapy improves the symptoms of heart failure (fatigue, shortness of breath and exercise intolerance) and the person's overall quality of life. Primary uses for pacemakers include the treatment of:

Heart failure
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Support groups

by $6Mman - 2007-04-19 08:04:05

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in upstate New York, USA, I couldn't even find a general cardio-support group. You might try your heart association or some of the cardiac specializing hospitals in your clients area, or, as I found - suggest this site! Lotta people, lotta help, lotta support and just remember there are no dumb questions!!!
Wish your client success ~Adam

Heart Support Groups

by auntiesamm - 2007-04-20 03:04:07

Most hospitals that provide cardiac care have Mended Heart Groups. These groups started out many years ago as support for open-heart surgery patients but grew to add other cardiac diagnosis. They do have a website: You can probably search for a group within a reasonable distance of your home. Also check the American Heart Association website and see what they offer in your area. If this fails call around to your local hospitals and ask if they have cardiac support groups or what they recommend that is convenient; it does not have to necessarily be a pacemaker support group. It all fits together via one common thread - cardiac disease of one kind or another. I hope you find the perfect situation for yourself. Take care and God bless.

You know you're wired when...

You run like the bionic woman.

Member Quotes

The pacer systems are really very reliable. The main problem is the incompetent programming of them. If yours is working well for you, get on with life and enjoy it. You probably are more at risk of problems with a valve job than the pacer.