What're the treatments for wolff-parkinson-white (WPW)?
People without symptoms usually don't need treatment. People with episodes of tachycardia can often be treated with medication. But sometimes such treatment doesn't work. Then they'll need to have more tests of their heart's electrical
Patients suffering with significant symptoms of WPW and those found by electrophysiology studies to be at risk of developing life- threatening tachycardias require treatment. Examples include patients who have had a previous fainting or near fainting episode, an aborted cardiac arrest, or very rapid tachycardias.
However, some patients with only ventricular preexcitation may need further evaluation and consideration for treatment. These include individuals in high-risk occupations such as airline pilots, school bus drivers, and competitive athletes. Athletes are considered higher risk because of the intense exertion. Airline pilots and school bus drivers have responsibility over public safety. Patients in this category may find it advisable to have further testing with an exercise treadmill and holter monitoring (wearing a monitor which records the heart rhythm over 24-48 hours) to help determine the need for treatment.
Various drugs may be used to treat Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, as well as other cardiac arrhythmias. The purpose of these drugs is to slow the electrical signals and excitation of heart muscles. As some of these drugs may have side effects, including the rare production of new or more frequent arrhythmias, the patient should be carefully observed. Ablative therapies may be accomplished with radiofrequency or cardiac catheters to cut through the tissue which is causing the abnormal electrical signals.
At one time, only open heart surgery was used, but the procedure can be done now with local anesthesia in a special cardiac laboratory. In some cases, surgery may still be recommended to treat Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.Young people with this syndrome may be treated more successfully with surgery, rather than enduring a lifetime of drug treatments, or the possible threat of sudden cardiac death.