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Doctor insights on: Ablation Treatment For Atrial Fibrillation

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How safe is a cardiac ablation? Will it help to cure atrial fibrillation? If it does, will I have to continue taking medication

How safe is a cardiac ablation?  Will it help to cure atrial fibrillation? If it does, will I have to continue taking medication

Usually safe: Although many serious complications can occur during an ablation, when performed by a skilled physician with plenty if experience in a good hospital it is usually very safe. When successful an ablation may allow a patient to come off medications prescribed for the arrhythmia which was ablated. Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia which can be cured with ablation. ...Read more

Dr. Tanya Russo
2 doctors shared insights

Ablation (Definition)

Cardiac ablation involves destruction of tissue aimed at elimination of sources of origin or propagation of arrhythmias. It may also be used to destroy part of the heart in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Typically it is done with a catheter inserted through a ...Read more


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These days what's the medical treatment for atrial fibrillation?

These days what's the medical treatment for atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation: Afib is a rapid irregular heart rhythm which can decrease heart efficiency as much as 20% in some patients. It can also be associated with clotting and clots travelling around the body to cause stroke or other problems. Some people have atrial fibrillation as their normal rhythm. We use drugs to control rate, rhythm and if not successful, ablation therapy by electrophysiologist. ...Read more

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Hoping you can tell me, is minimally invasive treatment for atrial fibrillation available?

Yes: All catheter-based techniques are considered minimally invasive. Conventional techniques are up to 75% effective though multiple procedures are frequently required. There is a mini-thoracotomy procedure they can do with slightly improved efficacy over this but it involves making a lot of scar tissue around the left atrium; we usually reserve that for people needing other procedures in the chest. ...Read more

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Without treatment, is atrial fibrillation deadly?

Depends : it depends on how many other diseases you have. For the people with the highest risk, it can cause strokes, which can be deadly. Anyone with this condition needs to see a Cardiologist. ...Read more

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Which is the preferred atrial fibrillation (afib) treatment?

Which is the preferred atrial fibrillation (afib) treatment?

Afib: Treatment of afib is tailored to the patient. The treatment that gives the individual the best results varies. ...Read more

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There are drugs for treatment of vagal atrial fibrillation?

Yes: Vagal-mediated atrial fibrillation typically occurs at night while people are sleeping or may occur when drinking something cold or going to the bathroom. An antiarrhythmic called norpace, or disopyramide, works well in this situation, as it has anti-vagal properties. ...Read more

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Can you recommend the best reference source to learn more about ablation of atrial fibrillation?

Can you recommend the best reference source to learn more about ablation of atrial fibrillation?

ACC or AHA: Hello marina -- yes, you can find comprehensive reference and patient educations at the american college of cardiology or american heart association websites -- please just google them. ...Read more

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What is the indication for surgical ablation (av node ablation) for atrial fibrillation?

What is the indication for surgical ablation (av node ablation) for atrial fibrillation?

Definitive Control: We don't generally do this with surgery, but rather with a "catheter" based procedure (wire we thread into the heart that cauterizes the av node). This procedure provides complete control of the heart rate in the lower chamber and excellent symptom control, but makes people dependent on the pacemaker that *must* be implanted with this procedure. ...Read more

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Do you think Atrial Fibrillation would improve with an ablation? Only remedy so far is cardioversion

Yes: RF ablation for atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter in good hands ought to be curative. Factors that determine success: electrophysiologists experience and record of success, duration of AF; size and function of Left atrium. Good luck! ...Read more

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Should I get ablation for my atrial fibrillation and is the robot the right way to go?

It depends: The robot for atrial fibrillation will probably not improve the outcomes of the ablation. It may make the procedure slightly faster, or perhaps less xray use - but the outcomes are about the same as the non-robot ablation. ...Read more

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What is the success rate for the "firm" procedure for atrial fibrillation and are there any additional risks having it done over a normal ablation

Alternate technique: My understanding is that FIRM (focal impulse and rotor modulation) ablation is, perhaps, a more advanced ablation system using a very sophisticated catheter that, purportedly, maps locations/rotors that seemingly could trigger & sustain AF. Success up to 80% in controlling AF for 2 years is reported, better than with standard ablation. Risks should be similar. Careful case selection is important! ...Read more

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Taking 200 mg of Flecainide daily and still having episodes of atrial Fibrillation and PVCs. What should the next course of treatment be? Thanks

Follow your MD lead: You need to be patient and stick to the treatment offered by your cardiologist or electro physiologist and discuss your options and doubts with them. Do NOT over read or look for answers on the internet. This can be harmful when the arrhythmia, in general, is not. ...Read more

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What meds can I use to control my a fib? What are the risks and side effects of medications to control my atrial fibrillation or to reduce the risk of stroke? What are the risks/benefits of other treatment options?

What meds can I use to control my a fib? What are the risks and side effects of medications to control my atrial fibrillation or to reduce the risk of stroke? What are the risks/benefits of other treatment options?

The : The treatment of atrial fibrillation has two important components: 1) treating the rhythm, and 2) preventing stroke. There are two strategies for treating the rhythm. The first is called the rate control strategy, and involves using medicines to prevent the heart rate from going too fast. These medicines do not prevent atrial fibrillation episodes, but are generally effective at preventing fast rhythms and also tend to have few side effects. This is a good strategy for people who do not have severe symptoms from atrial fibrillation, such as older less active people. The second strategy is called the rhythm control strategy, and involves using medications that are designed to maintain normal sinus rhythm and prevent episodes of atrial fibrillation. This strategy may be more desirable for people who are vey symptomatic when in atrial fibrillation such as young, active people. Unfortunately, this strategy tends to be less successful because recurrence of atrial fibrillation is common. The rhythm control medications also tend to have more side effects than the rate control medicines, and in some cases the side effects can be severe. Neither strategy is better than the other at preventing stroke. For stroke prevention, warfarin (also called coumadin) is typically used for people at moderate or high risk. This medication has been shown to be superior in preventing stroke, but it also increases the risk of dangerous bleeding because it is a blood thinner. Patients at lower risk for stroke may just take an Aspirin tablet daily. This has a lower bleeding risk than warfarin. Lastly, some people are candidates for surgical or catheter-based ablation procedures. These procedures can cure atrial fibrillation, but are not always successful and not all people are good candidates. ...Read more

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Why would I be completely be dependent on my pacemaker if I have the AV node ablation Such as SVT are atrial fibrillation?

Why would I be completely be dependent on my pacemaker if I have the AV node ablation Such as SVT are atrial fibrillation?

Electricity : The heart is a house with 2 chambers upstairs (atria) and 2 chambers downstairs (ventrical). The electricity to the downstairs chambers comes from the upstairs chamber. The connecting point between the tow floors is called AV node. If you cut this AV node, the lower chambers will not have electricity to work, so u need to provide the lower chamb with anther source of electricity, that is pacemaker ...Read more

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I have been to the ER for a rapid heartbeat. Sometimes it's diagnosed as sinus tachycardia and sometimes atrial fibrillation. I have tried cardyzeme and metopral without much success. What happens if i don't seek treatment next time?

I : I agree with dr. Guyton's excellent and thorough answer and would like to emphasize that with atrial fibrillation there are two main issues: 1) heart rate - a fast heart rate is typically what most people present with, and typically can be managed with medications to control heart rate such as the two you described, although there are others. Sustained high heart rates are not good for the heart, but as long as you are not having chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or loss of consciousness then you can call your physician before rushing to the er. 2) stroke - afib presents a very real increase risk of stroke if not properly treated. For this reason, an accurate diagnosis is a must, and if it is indeed afib the you should discuss with your physician whether you are high enough risk to require blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) or pradaxa. This is a long term risk so can be discussed in the outpatient setting with your docotor or a cardiologist. ...Read more

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O've had two heart surgeries as a child and had an ablation for atrial fibrillation. How often should I see my cardiologist?

O've had two heart surgeries as a child and had an ablation for atrial fibrillation. How often should I see my cardiologist?

Visit returns: Frequency for re checks really depends on the problem(s) and the symptoms. Not knowing what your surgeries were or the success of the ablation it is hard to say. If all has been repaired and no symptoms and sinus rhythm are stable, then yearly visits would likely be fine. If you're having problems, then they would dictate the frequency of return visits. ...Read more

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If atrial fibrillation with sick sinus syndrome changes from intermittent to continuous, is further treatment needed? Taking Coversyl & Pradaxa now.

If atrial fibrillation with sick sinus syndrome changes from intermittent to continuous, is further treatment needed? Taking Coversyl & Pradaxa now.

AF: This discussion should be with your doctor who knows you and your entire situation. In general if maintaining sinus rhythm is no longer realistic, we still need to continue rate control and usually anticoagulation. These treatments however need to be patient specific. ...Read more

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I need to undergo cardiac ablation to treat my atrial fibrillation, how do I select a doctor?

I need to undergo cardiac ablation to treat my atrial fibrillation, how do I select a doctor?

Eectrophysiologist: I agree that an electrophysiologist wil provide the best information regarding catheter ablation. It is important to ask questions regarding outcomes and success rates. I would recommend a university setting for this type of ablation that will provide the best staff as well as equipment. ...Read more

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Can cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation cause damage to the coronary arteries close to the ablation site

Can cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation cause damage to the coronary arteries close to the ablation site

Yes but it's rare: The coronary arteries, most specifically a branch of the left circumflex artery run directly beneath a structure called the left atrial appendage. Ablation in that region, or just behind it puts rf energy near that artery. However, the artery has very high flow (relatively speaking) and is thus protected from damage the majority of the time. ...Read more

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Which treatments control atrial fibrillation?

Which treatments control atrial fibrillation?

It Varies: The most important treatment is stroke prevention, which is usually done by medications (aspirin or warfarin). Sometimes rate control medications are used, like metoprolol. If the af is severe enough, stronger anti-arrhythmic medications are used, like propafenone. If these do not work, catheter ablation may be recommended. Pacemaker and av-node ablation may be used as a last resort. ...Read more

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What are drug treatments for atrial fibrillation?

What are drug treatments for atrial fibrillation?

It Varies.: The most important treatment is stroke prevention, which is usually done by medications (aspirin or warfarin). Sometimes rate control medications are used, like metoprolol. If the af is severe enough, stronger anti-arrhythmic medications are used, like propafenone. If these do not work, catheter ablation may be recommended. Pacemaker and av-node ablation may be used as a last resort. ...Read more

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Dr. John Garner
1,821 doctors shared insights

Atrial Fibrillation (Definition)

A heart condition, in which the electrical activity of the heart is abnormal. This abnormal electrical signal causes the heart muscle to contract when it is not supposed to and thus blood is ...Read more


Fibrillation (Definition)

Fibrillation is the rapid, irregular, and unsynchronized contraction of muscle fibers. An important occurrence is with ...Read more