Stating that the rhythm disorder usually manifests itself with heart palpitations, Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu explained that this situation can become a situation that seriously affects the daily life of the patient. Aksu stated that rhythm disorder is seen in 20-30 percent of the society.

Reminding that some rhythm disorders can pose a life-threatening risk to the patient, Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu said, “A rhythm disorder that occurs for a simpler reason can show similar symptoms in the patient, whether it is life-threatening or not. In both cases, only a feeling of palpitations is experienced. For this reason, it is extremely important to detect the underlying cause in a timely manner. Therefore, we tell patients that if your palpitation affects their life, they should definitely consult a cardiologist.”


Stating that it is important to distinguish between rhythm disorder and palpitation at this point, Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu continued his words as follows:

“Not all palpitations are due to arrhythmias. Many situations encountered in daily life can cause an increase in heart rate. For example, even falling in love is an example of palpitations that can cause heart rate to rise. After all, they are a physiological response that the body must give. It is not a rhythm disorder,” he said. Assoc. Dr. Aksu pointed out that palpitations that occur for no apparent reason may be a sign of arrhythmia.


Noting that rhythm disorder can be seen at any age, Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu stated that the type of this disorder varies according to the age of the patients. Aksu said, “The rhythm disorder, which is generally seen in young people, is mostly caused by the atria. In this case, palpitations have a good prognosis and the patient’s quality of life deteriorates, but does not carry a life-threatening risk. However, rhythm disorders that occur in advanced ages are caused by the heart ventricles and these are very important. This situation, which can be defined as dangerous, may pose a life-threatening risk for the patient.


Stating that atrial fibrillation is the most common permanent rhythm disorder in the world and in Turkey, Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu gave the following information:

“Atrial fibrillation occurs in over 20 percent of those over the age of 80, and between 5 and 10 percent of the young. Atrial fibrillation is the most common cause of stroke. Strokes due to atrial fibrillation can cause more permanent problems than strokes due to clots from plaques in the neck. Therefore, when atrial fibrillation is seen in the patient, the focus is on eliminating the possibility of stroke, not palpitation. Anticoagulant treatment is started according to the patient’s risk profile and accompanying diseases. After the risk of stroke is eliminated, palpitations are treated by taking into account additional complaints such as shortness of breath and chest pain.


Emphasizing that 99 percent of rhythm disorders can be treated permanently, Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu explained that rhythm disorders seen in young people and which are not life-threatening can be treated with the Catheter Ablation method. Assoc. Dr. Aksu continued:

“As the disorders caused by the heart ventricle, which are seen in older ages, can be seen together with different heart diseases such as heart failure, the treatment approach may change. In this case, we apply a treatment that consists of ablation or medication or a combination of the two.”

Evaluating the rhythm disorder treatment, catheter ablation by giving radio waves, Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu said, “This method is used in rhythm disorders that cannot be controlled with drugs or if patients do not want to take drugs for life. The procedure is basically performed under local anesthesia by numbing the needle entry points, and in some cases under general anesthesia. Since no incision is made, they can return to daily life in as little as 2 days at the most.


Yeditepe University Hospitals Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tolga Aksu stated that conditions such as obesity, not doing sports, not paying attention to cholesterol, smoking and consuming alcohol trigger permanent rhythm disorder and said that especially using alcohol greatly reduces the success of treatment.

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