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Slow Down that Heart Rate

Everyone has rapid heart rates at times. During exercise your heart rate can climb to 180 beats per minute. Generally, it’s considered the maximum heart rate a person should have is 220 less your age. So, if you’re 40, you’d subtract 40 from 220 and your maximum heart rate during exercise should be 180. But […]


Cardiac Ablation

It can sound scary, but sometimes the best way to stop an abnormal heart rhythm is by destroying some of the heart tissue. This is known as cardiac ablation and Dr. Smith performs this procedure.   What is cardiac ablation?   The goal of cardiac ablation is to destroy the pathway of the abnormal rhythm. […]


Treating Atrial Fibrillation & Arrhythmia Birmingham AL

Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

The term congestive heart failure (CHF) is a bit of a misnomer. If people hear that someone has CHF they assume the person may have had a heart attack, due to the use of the word failure. In reality, CHF simply means that the heart isn’t pumping blood effectively. When the heart doesn’t pump the […]


Pacemaker Birmingham AL

Pacemakers

Sometimes a patient’s heart rhythms just won’t respond effectively to a single treatment and return to normal. In these cases, Dr. Smith may need to permanently correct these arrhythmias by implanting a pacemaker. What is a pacemaker? A pacemaker is a small device that Dr. Smith implants under the skin of your chest. It has […]


What Is a Heart Block?

Our hearts are miracles workers, but Dr. Smith sees many hearts that aren’t keeping pace, so to speak. One of those problems is called a heart block. There are different degrees of heart blocks; some need treatment, others do not. Here’s some information on this condition. Normal electrical signals Your heartbeat is initiated by an […]


Pick Up the Pace

Every day your heart beats about 100,000 times. Think about that. What other kind of device could you count on to deliver so much work for something like 85 years and never be replaced? That’s the miracle of our hearts. You’d think that making your heart beat less would be helpful. Less work must equal […]


How To Lessen Your Chances of Heart Problems

This time of year, we all like to get together and celebrate life. But to do that, you have to be there…literally. While many people can have occasional arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), if you also have heart disease it dramatically increases your odds of a heart attack. Since Dr. Smith makes it his business to […]


Different Stuff Can Be Behind Your Abnormal Heart Rhythm

It’s easy to assume if we have something like an arrhythmia that’s it’s a defect of some sort within our heart or our nervous system. Most people assume it’s a homegrown problem. Truth be told, it could all be due to something you’re eating, drinking, or taking. Since Dr. Smith is all about keeping your […]


Cardioversion Birmingham AL

Cardioversion

If your heart is beating too fast (tachycardia) or is beating at an irregular pace (fibrillation) or has out of synch upper and lower chambers (atrial flutter), Dr. Smith may perform what is known as cardioversion to get it back to a normal heart rhythm. Cardioversion is usually done by sending electric shocks to your […]


Premature Ventricular Contractions

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra, abnormal heartbeats that begin in one of your ventricles (the heart’s two lower pumping chambers). Since they aren’t supposed to happen, these extra heartbeats tend to disrupt your normal heart rhythm. This can feel as if your heart just performed a gymnastics flip-flop or as if it skipped a […]


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Macy C. Smith, Jr., MD, FACC, FHRS