Atrial Fibrillation Treatment

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Atrial fibrillation is a kind of arrhythmia, or abnormal heartbeat, and affects almost five million Americans. Atrial fibrillation often originates in the left atrium, the upper left chamber of the heart. When atrial fibrillation happens, the upper chambers of the heart beat in an unorganized rhythm and the heart rate may increase to 150 to 200 beats per minute from the normal range of 60 to 100 beats per minute. The condition can lead to chronic fatigue and can increase the chances of congestive heart failure or stroke.

Treatment for atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation treatment may involve a number of options:

  • Medication. Drugs for atrial fibrillation can help keep the normal heart rhythm, slow down a fast heart rate, or prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Cardioversion. This procedure uses large electrodes pads placed on the chest to send an electrical current to the heart muscle to restore its normal rhythm.
  • Catheter ablation, also known as cardiac ablation. This procedure involves guiding a catheter through the blood vessels into the heart and destroying tissue in the area of the heart that is causing atrial fibrillation.
  • Surgical ablation. This procedure involves minimally invasive or open heart surgery to destroy the tissue in the heart responsible for the irregular heartbeat.

The Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's hospital (BWH) offers state-of-the-art atrial fibrillation treatment and comprehensive cardiovascular care in a world-class medical facility.

Learn more about atrial fibrillation treatment at The Shapiro Center.

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm, originating in the upper left chamber of the heart, that affects over two million Americans. In this video, Julie Shea, NP, Program Coordinator for the Living with Atrial Fibrillation Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), talks about atrial fibrillation diagnosis, treatments, and research.

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm, originating in the upper left chamber of the heart, that affects over two million Americans. In this video, Julie Shea, NP, Program Coordinator for the Living with Atrial Fibrillation Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), talks about atrial fibrillation diagnosis, treatments, and research.

The latest in atrial fibrillation treatment

The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center provides innovative and comprehensive care for patients requiring complex coronary disease treatment and vascular disease treatment. A robust research program enables physicians to provide patients with the very latest in prevention, diagnosis and treatment for a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions, including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia treatment.

The Center features a Cardiac Arrhythmia Service devoted solely to the care of patients with irregular heart rhythms, heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat conditions like atrial fibrillation. Treatment is provided by some of the world's most experienced physicians in cardiac electrophysiology, the study of the heart's electrical system.

Learn more about atrial fibrillation treatment as well as other treatments for arrhythmia, including pacemaker surgery.

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