What other Treatments might be Recommended?

Treatment with Procedures


Is AFib Curable? Which Treatments Are Most Effective?


We don’t usually say AFib is “curable” but we do know that there are treatable causes and options for decreasing the burden from AFib that can –but may not always– keep the AFib from returning.

The Usual First Steps: While medications and electrical cardioversion are common treatment options for atrial fibrillation treatment, they don't cure AFib. However, there are some procedures that can help people achieve long-term success.

What’s Next? What are the most common treatment options to consider after medication and electrical cardioversion have been tried?


There are two major approaches to consider if medications aren't working or are failing to help you achieve normal sinus rhythm. Catheter ablation and surgical maze procedures can stop the atrial fibrillation and relieve symptoms for many patients.

Follow the links below to learn about AFib treatment goals and options as well as catheter ablation and surgery, including what to expect and the risks and success rates of each.

AFib Treatment: What Is Normal Sinus Rhythm?

And what is the definition of being “cured” of atrial fibrillation? Learn more about the goals and areas of the heart that may be the target of these treatment options.

Using Electrical Cardioversion For Atrial Fibrillation

When AFib isn’t stopping on its own, you may be encouraged to try electrical cardioversion early in the process to stop the AFib and put the heart back into normal sinus rhythm.

Treating Atrial Fibrillation with Catheter Ablation

In an ablation, a catheter-based energy source is inserted through the groin, neck, or arm and threaded to the heart, where it scars the tissue to block erratic signals from controlling the heart. Catheter ablation is more invasive than cardioversion but less invasive than surgery.

Treating Atrial Fibrillation with AV Node Ablation?

Learn more about what AV node ablation is, some important considerations prior to having this procedure, and who may be a candidate.

Treating Atrial Fibrillation with Surgery

Surgical procedures may be considered for people whose AFib does not respond to less invasive measures. These three surgical procedures vary in their degree of complexity and downtime required for the patient.

What should I know about the most recent developments in AFib treatment?


Having both the electrophysiologist and the surgeon collaborate in the operating suite has led to the latest surgical trend, the hybrid ablation procedure. It incorporates both catheter ablation and a mini maze procedure in a single operation. It is important to explore each type of atrial fibrillation with your doctor to determine the best treatment options for you.

Recent Discussions From The Providers Office Forum
Wayne avatar

I am a 78-year old male with persistent AFIB for about the last 20 years with only occasional instances of racing heart rate.  In 2010, I had open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve along with a triple by-pass and a cryo-maze procedure to correct the AFIB (the maze procedure only fixed the AFIB for about a month).  In my opinion, I have been doing very well and see my personal physician and cardiologist twice a year.  I keep a good record of my vitals on a weekly basis.  Every so often (2 to 3 times a year) I note that my heart rate (normally 68-70 BPM) while sleeping will dive to the 40's and 50's and stay at that lower rate for a week or two.  Neither of my doctors seem concerned about this.  During my discussion last week with my cardiologist, while discussing this issue, he stated that AFIB can result in low heart rates as well as high heart rates and talked about a pacemaker if and when the low heart rate situation warrants it.  I did not know that AFIB could cause low heart rates and would like to hear if others on this forum have expeienced low heart rates as a result of AFIB.  Thanks.

Trish avatar

Still sifting through the reams of info on ablation. Seems no real consensus on anything except that the centers that do the most have the best outcomes. Saw my lovely, warm dr yesterday for consult on ablation...when or if to do. He is outstanding and I was ready to pull the trigger on the procedure when he told me that since he is at a teaching hospital, his students(fellows) do the ablation with his oversight and correction when needed. I should have realized this but did not. So...the centers that do lots of ablations without student participation narrows the field considerably and let's out some of the major players. Please share any experiences. I am ready and will to travel but would prefer Miami/NYC area. Also, anyone out there have ablation at a teaching hospital?

Trish

Deb M avatar

I am going into the hospital next Wednesday for "tikosyn load". My doctor's office is not very forthcoming with information. Can anyone tell me what to expect? How is the load done and monitored? Is the load constant through IV or only at particular times? Do you have to actually lay in a bed for 3 days or can you get up and move around? Can you shower? What should you take to the hospital with you? Were you able to have visitors? How long before you can resume normal activies when you return home? Has being on this medication changed your life style?I would appreciate any advice anyone has. Thank you.

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