Heart and Blood Conditions

Supraventricular Tachycardia Treatment

Your child may not need any treatment for supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Often, this type of fast heartbeat does not cause any problems. But sometimes, it keeps the heart from pumping the right amount of blood to the brain or other organs. This can be dangerous. Symptoms of SVT can also get in the way of athletic activity and even everyday activities. It’s important to have your child’s heart checked by a doctor who can offer treatment, if your child needs it.

Supraventricular Tachycardia Treatment Options

Your child may need treatment if they have SVT that causes symptoms, that happens often or that lasts for a while.

In some cases, doctors treat SVT first with medicines that correct the heart rate, like beta-blockers. If medicine does not control SVT well enough or the patient doesn’t want to take medicine, doctors may perform an electrophysiology study to identify the exact type of SVT and perform an ablation. An ablation is a procedure that uses a spaghetti-like plastic tube (catheter) to destroy the tissue that causes the rapid heartbeat.

Read more about the treatment options we offer through our Arrhythmia Program and in our Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

New Treatments for Supraventricular Tachycardia

Doctors treat SVT by removing the heart tissue that is causing the irregular rhythm. This procedure is called ablation. Traditionally, ablation procedures have been performed with a small tube (catheter) that burned (cauterized) the abnormal tissue. This uses energy called radiofrequency energy. Now, a catheter that uses an energy called cryoablation is used. Cryoablation destroys the tissue by freezing it instead of burning it. This new technique may be safer. It also seems that the heart tissue is able to recover better after cryoablation. Talk with your heart doctor about which energy type is best for your child.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.