beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Treatments

Treatment seeks to prevent a syncope recurrence. Depending on the results of your tests and the underlying cause of your syncope, your treatment may include:

  • Taking new medications, such as those for high blood pressure, or making changes to your current medications if they are found to be contributing to your syncope.
  • Wearing support stockings to improve circulation.
  • Making dietary changes such as eating meals more often, but in smaller portions; increasing salt, fluid and potassium intake; and staying away from caffeine and alcohol.
  • Being careful when shifting from sitting to standing.
  • Elevating the head of your bed while sleeping.
  • Trying to avoid triggers that may cause a fainting episode.
  • Artificial pacemaker:
    • This device may be either temporarily or permanently implanted under the skin in the chest wall. It is the most common treatment for arrhythmias that cause symptoms such as fainting.
    • The wallet-sized, battery-powered device has wires and electrodes attached. The electrodes are threaded through your veins and into your heart, while the pacemaker itself is implanted under your collarbone.
    • The pacemaker provides electrical impulses through the electrodes to regulate your heartbeat. In some cases, a dual-chamber pacemaker may be implanted. It has electrodes in both the atria and the ventricles. A traditional pacemaker only has electrodes in the ventricles.
    • When your heart rate slows, the pacemaker takes over, providing the impulses required to maintain a normal rhythm. Blood thinners may be prescribed along with the pacemaker, at least initially.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-8800

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