Comprehensive Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib)
At St. Mark's Hospital, our experienced specialists use advanced technologies, including Mini-Maze Surgery, to treat A-Fib. For example, they perform cardiac ablations in state-of-the-art catheter labs. Electrophysiologists gently guide catheters into patients' hearts in one of our EP labs. And, our cardiovascular surgeons are among a small number of specialists in the country trained to use the technology that enables Mini-Maze surgeries. We can help to restore your heart's normal rhythm, often without major surgery.
Often, A-Fib patients undergo more than one of the following treatment options before the irregular heartbeat is resolved.
- Mini-Maze Surgery redirects irregular electrical impulses on the outside of the heart. This minimally invasive procedure requires only two small incisions on each side of the chest. It is one of the newest A-Fib treatments, but has already proven to restore a normal heart rhythm - permanently in many cases.
- Drug Therapy can control A-Fib symptoms, but long-term drug therapy often has undesirable side effects.
- Cardioversion utilizes an electrical shock to restore a normal heart rhythm. An effective option for some people, it cannot control symptoms over time in others.
- Ablation is a procedure in which an energy source like heat is guided to the inside of the heart using catheters. The heat is used to ablate or destroy the heart cells triggering irregular electrical impulses.
- Cox-Maze Surgery has been performed for more than 10 years with excellent results. While the patient's heart is stopped, tiny incisions are made to create scar tissue that redirects irregular electrical impulses. A heart-lung machine is used during this open-heart surgery.
Whether you have only experienced a few heart flutters, been recently diagnosed or have had A-Fib for years, the next step is to determine the best treatment option for you - now. Therefore, we encourage you to visit a physician who specializes in treating A-Fib.