Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a heart condition that causes you to have an irregular or fast heart rate. This increased heart rate can then lead to other complications like stroke or heart failure. Symptoms of AFib can be shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and weakness. AFib typically is not a life-threatening condition, but it can decrease your quality of life if left untreated.
Treatment Options for AFIB
There are several options for treatment of atrial fibrillation. The best treatment option for you will be based on how long you have had Afib, how severe your symptoms are, and the cause of your atrial fibrillation. All treatments work to reset the rhythm of your heart, control your heart rate, or prevent blood clots. Here are a few treatment options for AFib:
- Cardioversion. Electrical cardioversion sends an electrical shock to your heart in the hopes that stopping it for a moment will return it to a normal rate. Cardioversion can also be used through drugs called anti-arrhythmics that help restore normal sinus rhythm.
- Heart rate control. Some medications are effective in returning your heart rate to a normal pace. Digoxin (Lanoxin) is one such medication that can control your heart rate at rest, but you may need other medications during activity.
- Catheter ablation. This procedure destroys the area of your heart that is causing your AFib and should restore your heart to a normal rhythm.
- Surgical maze procedure. This procedure involves open-heart surgery. Doctors create several incisions in the upper chambers of your heart to create a pattern of scar tissue.
- Atrioventricular (AV) node ablation. For this procedure, your doctor will apply radiofrequency energy to the pathway connecting the upper chambers and lower chambers of your heart through a catheter to destroy this small area of tissue.
Dr. Chiuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program
Dr. Chiuffo is dedicated to treating your atrial fibrillation. If you have any questions about your AFib or how to treat it feel free to contact us at (330) 588-4676 or visit our contact page online.