Premature Ventricular Contractions

Premier Cardiac and Vascular

Cardiologists located in Annandale, VA & Fredericksburg, VA

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are a common type of arrhythmia that may weaken the heart muscle over time. Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC, and Ashok Talreja, MD, FACC, FHRS, at Premier Cardiac and Vascular in Fredericksburg, Virginia, are skilled cardiologists who provide comprehensive and compassionate care for people with PVC. For expert heart care and monitoring, call the office or request an appointment online today.

What are premature ventricular contractions?

Premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs, are a type of arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat. The rhythm of your heart is set by your heart’s electrical system and usually begins in the upper right chamber, also called the right atrium.

With PVCs, the rhythm of your heartbeat starts in the ventricles — the lower chambers of your heart.

It’s not uncommon to have PVCs every once in a while. This type of irregular heartbeat affects people of all ages but is more common in older adults. People with high blood pressure, heart failure, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are also at greater risk of having PVCs.

An occasional, irregular heartbeat isn’t a serious health concern. However, people with recurring PVCs are at risk of developing cardiomyopathy, a weakened heart muscle. Getting treatment for PVCs corrects the abnormal heartbeat, preventing complications.

What are the symptoms of premature ventricular contractions?

People with occasional PVCs may not have any symptoms. Or, the symptoms are minor, causing dizziness, heart palpitations, or a pounding sensation in the neck.

If you have an underlying heart condition with PVCs, you may experience shortness of breath. 

When should I see a cardiologist for premature ventricular contractions?

Schedule a consultation with the team at Premier Cardiac and Vascular if your PVCs are a recurring problem, you have an underlying heart condition, or you experience other concerning symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath.

During your visit, the team reviews your symptoms, medical history, and family history. They perform a physical exam and conduct an electrocardiogram (EKG) to evaluate the rhythm of your heartbeat.

The team may also have you wear a heart monitor that tracks the rhythm of your heart over time. They may also perform an echocardiogram (echo) to evaluate the structure and function of your heart. 

What are the treatments for premature ventricular contractions?

The Premier Cardiac and Vascular team customizes your PVCs treatment plan based on the frequency of your irregular heartbeat and your heart health history. If your PVCs are infrequent, you may not need any treatment.

If your PVCs are the result of an underlying health condition, the team may recommend lifestyle changes, medication, or other therapies to improve your condition. 

For people with recurrent PVCs, the team may recommend catheter ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the part of the heart causing the abnormal heartbeat.

To find out more about PVCs and your treatment options, call Premier Cardiac and Vascular or book online today.