Treatments to consider before opting for surgery

Heart block

First-degree heart block is symptom-free and rarely needs treatment.

With second degree heart block you may need a pacemaker, and for third degree heart block, you’ll almost certainly need one.


If your bradycardia is caused by an underactive thyroid or obstructive sleep apnoea, treatment of these underlying conditions may correct the condition.

Ventricular tachycardia

With ventricular tachycardia, antiarrhythmic drugs are often used together with surgery. Beta-blockers are common, Amiodarone less so.

Catheter ablation is a relatively simple surgical procedure that uses radiofrequency energy or cold (cryotherapy) via a cardiac catheter to destroy the area of heart tissue that is causing your irregular contractions.

Heart failure

There are a number of medications that may be prescribed. Your doctor may prescribe more than one because they work in different ways.

It’s also worth talking to your doctor about adding fish oil to your diet, as this has been shown to have positive effects.

Self-medication isn’t recommended for any heart problem. Be sure to consult your doctor about any heart-related symptoms or concerns. If you have unexplained chest pain or breathlessness, call 000 immediately.

Results vs risks

The benefits and potential complications of pacemakers and implantable defibrillators.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.