Syncope is temporary loss of consciousness, described as "fainting" or "passing out." It's usually related to temporary insufficient blood flow to the brain. It most often occurs when the blood pressure is too low (hypotension) and the heart doesn't pump a normal supply of oxygen to the brain. 

Syncope can be caused by stress, pain, pooling of blood in the legs due to sudden changes in body position, overheating, dehydration, or exhaustion. It may occur during violent coughing spells due to rapid changes in blood pressure. It may also result from a heart, neurologic, psychiatric, metabolic or lung disorder. It can also occur as a side effect of some medicines.

Treatment options

With the state-of-the-art equipment and technology at the Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, you are in the best place to access the latest treatments for syncope. What truly sets us apart, though, is the way we care for you. Spectrum Health electrophysiologists not only work together to come up with the best care plans for our patients, but also to deliver the best patient experience possible. 

For example, when we implant pacemakers, we safely and effectively let patients go home the same day, rather than spending a night in the hospital. The next day, the patient’s device is checked remotely via the Internet. This keeps costs down, has proven to be just as safe, and it makes patients happier to be home in the comfort of their own beds. No other comparable electrophysiology program in the nation is able to do this like Spectrum Health.

Ablation procedures
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This procedure guides a wire into your heart to destroy small areas of heart tissue that may be causing your abnormal heartbeat. Heat (radiofrequency) or cold energy (cryoablation) are the two most common ways to destroy abnormal heart tissue. It's an alternative to long-term or lifelong medication therapy.

Cardiac rhythm monitoring
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With consistent check-ins and some assisted mechanical devices we can keep an eye on your heart rhythm, helping to understand and diagnose certain heart disease.

Catheter-based mapping
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This is a minimally invasive procedure that identifies the location of heart rhythm abnormalities in the heart so treatments like ablation can be more effective.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
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This device combines the steady regulation of a pacemaker with the ability to shock the heart back into rhythm. It is used to treat congestive heart failure as well as arrhythmia, which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Medication management
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Along with very important lifestyle changes, there are a variety of medicines used to help treat heart conditions. Medicines for heart disease are used to ease discomfort or lessen symptoms, but some can also be essential in preventing life-threatening episodes. It is important to take your medicines exactly as prescribed, and work with your doctor on both lifestyle and medicine changes.

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Your doctor may recommend a pacemaker to stimulate a faster heart rate when your heart beats too slow and the problem can't be fixed with other treatments.

Stereotaxis navigation
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A method of ablation that offers a more precise, and potentially more effective, delivery of the treatment.

Get a Second Opinion

Contact our heart experts for more information or to schedule an appointment.