LiveSmart: Does Your Heart Have Good Rhythm?

[Written by Robert Phang, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Albany Associates in Cardiology, St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates.]

If you’ve ever scanned the dance floor at a wedding, you know not everyone has good rhythm. Your funny dance style may be amusing to some, but, if your heart does not have good rhythm, it may be no laughing matter.

Your heart is a working machine, just like a car engine. It has an electrical system that makes sure it is pumping the correct amount of blood your body needs for every situation. For example, when you are resting, your body does not need as much blood flow as when you are physically or emotionally stressed.

When the electrical signals do not function properly, your heart can beat too fast, too slow, or skip beats. These changes in the heart’s cadence are sometimes harmless, sometimes cause significant symptoms like palpitations or fainting, and in some cases can be life-threatening.

It is important to talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of:

  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Chest discomfort
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness

St. Peter’s Health Partners is home to one of upstate New York’s leading heart rhythm centers. Our expertise spans common and rare heart rhythm disorders, including atrial fibrillation (Afib), ventricular arrhythmias, and inherited (genetic) syndromes.

Our Heart Rhythm Care Program includes:

Comprehensive Evaluation
A thorough history and physical exam, electrocardiogram, and often wearable or implantable cardiac monitors. You may have heart imaging studies and, in some cases, minimally invasive procedures to study the heart’s electrical system and potentially eliminate an abnormal electrical circuit.

A Team Approach
Electrophysiologists (cardiologists who have additional training/expertise in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders) work with general cardiologists and interventional cardiologists (who deliver tests and treatments using minimally invasive techniques) to provide comprehensive heart care for the patient.

Easy Access
Same-day walk-in cardiac clinics are available if you have a sudden change in symptoms and cannot wait for an appointment. Visit for more information.

Effectively managing a heart rhythm disorder can help you continue to lead a normal, active life. Your personalized treatment plan may involve lifestyle changes, medications, implantable devices, or procedures, including:

  • Catheter ablation: This procedure targets specific areas of heart tissue that cause rhythm disorders, and in some cases may be curative.
  • Left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) devices: A small, implantable device (e.g., WATCHMAN) reduces stroke risk and eliminates the need for long-term blood thinners.

St. Peter’s offers the full spectrum of cardiology services, including state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging studies, and noninvasive and interventional therapies tailored to improve your heart’s performance.

While your heart’s rhythm may be improved after visiting us, we can’t promise you’ll be a better dancer!

To learn more about our Afib program, visit

To find a location and read more about our cardiology offerings, visit You may also call 1-800-HEART-76 (1-800-432-7876) to find a heart specialist at St. Peter’s Health Partners.

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