Patients & Family

Treating AFib

Treatment options

Aims of Treatment

 

After AFib is diagnosed, your doctor or heart specialist will treat the condition according to the type of symptoms the AFib is causing, the type of AFib you have and your lifestyle.

 

Several approaches are used to treat AFib. These include daily medications, implantation of medical devices (such as pacemakers), surgical and non-surgical procedures, or a combination of these treatments (Fuster V, et al. 2006).

 

Methods of treatment can be placed into two different categories: therapies that aim to suppress or control the symptoms of AF and therapies that aim to eliminate the cause of the condition.

 

Treatment Choices

 

Elimination of the cause - If your doctor decides you have the type of AFib that is best treated with this type of therapy, there are two types of therapies that he can choose from.

 

  • Catheter ablation – removal or destruction of the abnormal heart tissue that causes the AFib using tubes (catheters) that are threaded through the veins
  • Surgical ablation – removal of the abnormal heart tissue via open heart surgery

 

Suppression and control of symptoms- If your doctor decides you have the type of AFib that is best treated with this type of therapy, there are currently three different types of therapies that he can choose from.

 

  • Cardioversion – this acts to quickly restore AFib to normal sinus rhythm
  • Medication – this controls either the rate of the heart beat or the rhythm of the heart beat
  • Medical devices (pacemakers) – these are implanted into the body to regulate the heartbeat

 

Your doctor will know which treatment will be best for your type of AFib and the type of symptoms that you are experiencing.

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