Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs)

If you feel the sensation that your heart sometimes skips a beat, turn to the heart rhythm experts at the Bob and Patty Edwards Arrhythmia Center at Overlake. Our experienced electrophysiologists will help you understand the source of your irregular heartbeat and what steps to take to protect your heart health.

What Are Premature Ventricular Contractions?

During premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), an abnormal electrical signal in your heart causes the lower chambers—the ventricles—to beat too early. This irregular timing means your heart pumps blood less effectively.

Symptoms of PVCs

If you have a premature contraction, you may feel no symptoms, or you may experience:

  • A fluttering or feeling that your heart has skipped a beat
  • The feeling that your heart is beating too fast or too hard (heart palpitations)
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Pressure or a pulsing sensation in your neck

How Are Premature Contractions Diagnosed?

If your physician thinks you may be experiencing premature beats, you’ll probably take an electrocardiogram. This short, painless test detects your heart’s electrical activity.

Learn more about diagnostic services at the Bob and Patty Edwards Arrhythmia Center at Overlake.

Treatment Options for Premature Heartbeats

You and your physician will work together to create a care plan that fits you and your condition.

For mild, occasional PVCs, you may be able to manage your arrhythmia through lifestyle changes.

If your premature heartbeats are frequent or cause symptoms, your treatment plan may include:

  • Medications to reduce your blood pressure (beta-blockers) or prevent arrhythmias (antiarrhythmics)
  • Catheter ablation – A minimally invasive procedure that stops abnormal electrical signals by eliminating small amounts of tissue in your heart
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) – A device placed inside your body to monitor and correct your heart rhythm

David and Shelley Hovind Heart + Vascular Center

The David and Shelley Hovind Heart + Vascular Center is named in recognition of the couple’s $1 million leadership gift. The Overlake Medical Center Foundation + Auxiliaries raised an additional $1.1 million for the new facility at the 2013 Bandage Ball, the Foundation’s annual fundraising gala and auction. To date, the Overlake Medical Center Foundation and Auxiliaries has received more than $4 million in philanthropic donations for the new center.

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