Atrial fibrillation is a cardiac condition caused by the quivering of the atria in the upper chamber of the heart. This quivering can lead to abnormally high heart rates in patients of up to 300 BPM in the upper chambers of the heart, and up to 150 BPM in the lower chambers. Atrial fibrillation typically presents itself in three different forms: Paroxysmal AF, Persistent AF, and Long-Term Persistent AF. Paroxysmal AF causes irregular heart rates, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to seven days, and typically stops on its own. Persistent and Long-Term AF occurs when the irregular heart rate is unable to stop on its own and requires medication and certain atrial fibrillation procedures to help maintain a normal heart rhythm. If left untreated, atrial fibrillation can weaken the heart and lead to heart failure or stroke.
Patients should seek the care of a cardiologist if they are experiencing any symptoms, including irregular, thumping, or pounding heartbeats, heart palpitations, a racing heartbeat, chest pain, fainting or lightheadedness, fatigue, shortness of breath, or weakness.
What Happens During an Atrial Fibrillation Procedure?
There are several practices cardiologists use to treat patients with AFib. One atrial fibrillation procedure used by doctors at AMS Cardiology is a “watchman device”. These devices are placed around the heart where blood clots commonly form, helping to prevent a formation in a patient’s body. A watchman device is a great option for an atrial fibrillation procedure because it actively works in the body to prevent blood clots from entering your bloodstream. In some cases, these devices may be used in place of prescription blood thinners. Additionally, heart rate restoration procedures including Radiofrequency or cryo catheter ablation can be used to help maintain a normal heart rate in patients.
Other non-procedural treatments include medications and therapy that your cardiologist may suggest in maintaining better control over your atrial fibrillation. These medications and therapies are anticoagulant-based and aimed at blood thinning and preventing blood clots from forming. Additionally, therapies such as pacemakers and defibrillators can be used alongside medication and atrial fibrillation procedures to help maintain better heart rates in patients.
Where Can I Find Atrial Fibrillation Services?
At AMS Cardiology, we offer exceptional cardiovascular care services to patients in North Wales and the surrounding area. Our atrial fibrillation procedures and treatments ensure your cardiovascular health is always in check. As one of the most respected cardiologist groups in the Greater Philadelphia area, our physicians and staff are dedicated to serving you with your questions, concerns, and treatments. Our physicians work with you to prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage your cardiovascular health and keep your heart in the best shape possible. We are committed to delivering patient-centered care to everyone who walks through our doors. To learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us today or call us at 215-517-1000.