Syncope describes an episode of loss of consciousness (or fainting) due to a sudden but transient loss of blood to the brain, followed by a quick and complete recovery. Syncope is a fairly common disorder, especially as we age, and is usually secondary to benign causes, but sometimes can occur due to more serious conditions and may require urgent interventions.
Syncope is one of the many conditions we, the electrophysiology team at Valley, are experienced in evaluating and treating. We will evaluate each particular case thoroughly and provide the best treatment that fits you.
The most common types of syncope are:
- Cardiac Syncope
- Syncope Caused by Arrhythmias
- Neural (Autonomic Function) Disorders
- Non-Syncope Loss of Consciousness
An accurate and detailed initial history and exam are essential to determine an investigational and treatment strategy. We strive to take the most detailed history we can, as that history is usually our first and biggest clue to the cause of your syncope.
The initial exam will include a thorough heart auscultation as well as orthostatic blood pressure measurements (blood pressure taken both when lying down or sitting and then standing) that could point to possible etiologies. During the initial encounter, an ECG (electrocardiogram) will be performed as well to evaluate for abnormalities in initiation and conduction of the electricity in the heart.
Depending on the findings and your individual case, we might also consider other tests that will help us narrow down the cause and type of your syncope including an echocardiogram, tilt table testing, short-term external ECG monitoring, and/or the most accurate of all tests for arrhythmic syncope, an implantable loop recorder for long term monitoring.
As a patient at Valley, you can feel confident that we will investigate every avenue to determine what’s causing your syncope, so we can treat it quickly and appropriately. In addition, every staff member at Valley is committed to supporting you.