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Bradycardia, or a slow heartbeat, is a condition that causes your heart to beat too slowly when it is at rest or not speed up when necessary.

Why choose UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute for bradycardia treatment?

Our experts use leading-edge technology and techniques to diagnose and treat hundreds of cases of cardiac arrhythmias each year, including bradycardia. We offer a full range of tests and treatments for bradycardia, including:

Diagnostic Tests for Bradycardia

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This noninvasive test measures the electrical activity in your heart.
  • Holter monitor. This wearable ECG device records your heart’s activity throughout the day.
  • Event recorder. This portable device is similar to a Holter monitor however, it only records when you are having symptoms.
  • Echocardiogram. This noninvasive test uses sound waves to create images of your heart.
  • Electrophysiology (EP) study. This test uses a special catheter that is threaded through your blood vessels and into your heart to map electrical impulses.

Nonsurgical Treatments for Bradycardia

  • Changing or adjusting medications. Some medications, including those used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions, can cause your heart to beat too slowly. Your doctor will review the medications you are taking and may recommend different medications or lower doses of your current medications to treat your slow heart rate.
  • Treating other medical problems. Other medical problems, such as thyroid conditions or obstructive sleep apnea, can cause your heart to beat too slowly. In some cases, treating these underlying medical conditions may correct your slow heartbeat.

Surgical Procedures for Bradycardia

Our physicians perform hundreds of surgical procedures each year to treat bradycardia and other irregular heart rhythms using implantable devices. Implantable devices include:

  • cc A pacemaker is a small battery-powered device that is permanently implanted under your skin. It sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat.
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a small electronic device that is implanted under your skin to continuously monitor your heart's electrical activity. If an irregular heartbeat is detected, your ICD will send an electric impulse to your heart that will restore normal rhythm.

What is bradycardia?

Bradycardia, or a slow heartbeat, is a condition that causes your heart to beat too slowly when it is at rest or not speed up when necessary.

Bradycardia is typically caused by a problem with your heart's natural pacemaker or electrical system. It occurs when one of the main nodes in the upper chambers of your heart is not working properly, resulting in a heartbeat that is too slow. Causes of bradycardia may include:

  • Changes in your heart due to aging
  • Heart disease
  • Low thyroid level
  • Medications for high blood pressure or other heart problems

Because bradycardia can prevent your body from getting the oxygen-rich blood it needs, you may be at an increased risk of seizures, heart failure, fainting and related injuries, and cardiac arrest.

What are the symptoms of bradycardia?

Symptoms of bradycardia vary from person to person. In fact, some people may experience very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling confused or having trouble concentrating
  • Breathlessness
  • Getting tired easily during physical activity

If you have chest pains, severe shortness of breath, or experience fainting, call 911. If you experience any unusual symptoms, you should call you doctor right away.

Who is at risk for bradycardia?

Aging and a personal or family history of heart disease are two major risk factors for bradycardia. Other risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Use of recreational drugs

How can I prevent bradycardia?

You may not be able to control some of your risk factors for bradycardia, such as aging and family history. However, eating a heart-healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, avoiding recreational drugs, and controlling chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol may help to lower your risk.


Find a UPMC HVI Provider.

  • Shweta Aggarwal, MD
  • William P. Apollo, MD
  • William B. Bachinsky, MD
  • Kunal N. Bodiwala, MD
  • Gouthami Boga, MD
  • Todd A. Bokelman, MD
  • Michael D. Bosak, MD
  • George Alan Bridenbaugh, MD
  • David Chang, MD
  • Swati Chaparala, MD
  • Michael W. Consevage, MD
  • Brian Michael Corbally, DO
  • Gregory D. Cox, DO
  • Matthew Evans, DO
  • Hemal Gada, MD
  • J. Andre Garabedian, DO
  • Alex B. Garton, MD
  • David M. Gilbert, DO
  • David B. Gitlitz, MD
  • Willis E. Godin, DO
  • Lokesh Gowda, MD
  • Gagandeep Gurm, MD
  • Felix Gutierrez, MD
  • J. Bryan Herchelroath, DO
  • Roberto P. Hodara Friedmann, MD
  • C. Randolph Hubbard, MD
  • Gordon H. Hutt, MD
  • Emad G. Iskandar, DO
  • Nitin Jaluria, MD
  • Steven R. Jones, MD
  • Sunil Kanwal, MD
  • James C. Lightfoot, MD
  • Michael G. Link, MD
  • Jonathan P. Logue, M
  • Atizazul H. Mansoor, MD
  • Robert E. Martin, MD
  • Kevin J. McHale, DO
  • Thomas C. Morris, DO
  • Bertrand N. Mukete, MD
  • Louie A. Myers, DO
  • Khanjan H. Nagarsheth, MD
  • Daniel F. Neuzil, MD
  • Thach N. Nguyen, MD
  • Sunil Prabhudas Patel, MD
  • Sunil Patel, MD
  • Nehal D. Patel, MD
  • Chinmay P. Patel, MD
  • Aashay Navin Patel, MD
  • David G. Pawlush, MD
  • Anay Dilip Pradhan, MD
  • Mehreen A. Qureshi, MD
  • Gregg Jay Reis, MD
  • Keith S. Rice, MD
  • Scott Taylor Riebel, MD
  • Ronald J. Savarese, DO
  • Torrey R. Schmidt, DO
  • Surender Singh, MD
  • Gurpal Singh, MD
  • Michael F. Smith, MD
  • Jason R Stuck, MD
  • Amit Navin Vora, MD
  • Timothy P. Walsh, MD
  • Christopher H. Zachary, MD
  • Xin Jian Zhang, MD
  • Ashley Beth Zinda, DO
  • Amanda C. Albin, CRNP
  • Kaitlyn M. Ball, PA-C
  • Brett Thomas Collins, PA-C
  • Stephanie K. Cristoaica, CRNP
  • Joseph E. D'Agostino, PA-C
  • Amber M. D'Agostino, PA-C
  • Theresa M. Del Biondo, CRNP
  • Sondra M. DePalma, PA-C
  • Kendra E. Estep, PA-C
  • Tara Lynn Flannery, CRNP
  • Chelsey Goodbrod, PA-C
  • Anthony M. Hancock, CRNP
  • Lauren Michele Hanly, CRNP
  • Rebekah C. Hill, CRNP
  • Susan Lynn Hite, CRNP
  • Alicia M. Keisling, CRNP
  • Richard Brandt Lego, CRN
  • Laura C. McKeown, PA-C
  • Heather Metzger, CRNP
  • Jennifer Orgel Campbell, PA-C
  • Nicholas Ranieli, PA-C
  • Robert T. Richards, CRNP
  • Jessica L. Root, PA-C
  • Melinda A. Rudy, PA-C
  • Laura M. Sheads-Cole, CRNP
  • Santina Sperling, CRNP
  • Timothy E. Sullivan, Jr., PA-C
  • Lindsay N. Sweger, PA-C
  • Nicole B. Theofanis, PA-C
  • Megan E. Witherow, CRNP

Need more information?

Cumberland/Dauphin/Franklin/Perry/Lebanon Counties: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology : 717-761-0200
Adams/York Counties: 717-637-1738 or 717-849-5576
Lancaster County: 717-299-5000

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UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Lebanon Valley Advanced Care Center
1251 East Main Street
Suite 3
Annville, PA 17003

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
360 Alexander Spring Road
Carlisle, PA 17013

Adult Cardiology: 717-243-6557
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-243-0102

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1000 North Front Street
Wormleysburg, PA 17043

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-731-8359

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
900 Century Drive
Suite 100
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Phone: 717-591-3660 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-591-3661

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Professional Center of Newport
300 Bretz Court
Newport, PA 17074

Phone: 717-567-7246 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-567-2621

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
2808 Old Post Road
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Adult Cardiology: 717-920-4400
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-920-4401

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
12 Saint Paul Drive
Suite 205
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Adult Cardiology: 717-217-6881
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-217-6889

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Commerce Park Professional Center
20 Expedition Trail
Suite 203
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
2201 Brunswick Drive
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Office Building
310 Stock Street
Suite 3
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Part of UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
16324 Mount Airy Road
Lower Level
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

Phone: 717-849-5576
Fax: 717-718-9972

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Part of UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1600 6th Avenue
Suite 105
York, PA 17403

Phone: 717-849-5576
Fax: 717-718-9972

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 100
Lititz, PA 17543

Phone: 717-299-5000
Fax: 717-431-1205 

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute (formerly Cardiac Consultants)
1697 Crown Avenue
Suite 100
Lancaster, PA 17601

Phone: 717-299-5000
Fax: 717-431-1205

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