AFIB Treatment Options
During your initial visit, a Summa physician will take a medical history to help determine the severity of your symptoms and assess how other factors may be contributing to your condition, such as alcohol or caffeine intake. Your doctor will also perform an examination listening to your heartbeat and breathing using a stethoscope. An electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) may also be performed to confirm whether A-Fib or some other arrhythmia is present which may have similar symptoms.
Your doctor will take into account the severity of your symptoms, whether symptoms have been ongoing or have just recently appeared and your past medical history when making treatment recommendations.
If you are diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) or you have been experiencing symptoms such as a fluttering feeling in the chest, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc., you should talk to your doctor about a referral to Summa’s A-Fib Program.
Initial treatment for many patients will include medication to prevent strokes and reduce symptoms. Treatment also may include an electrophysiology study and a catheter ablation known as a pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) procedure.
PVI is a cardiac ablation where catheters are inserted through the veins in the groin and are advanced to the heart in order to electrically isolate the pulmonary veins from the rest of the heart.
About 95% of A-Fib is triggered by cells and muscle fibers found in the pulmonary veins. Isolating the pulmonary veins can greatly reduce the triggers responsible for causing A-Fib. The leads are wires that are carefully threaded through the veins into the heart and touch the heart muscle. The pulse generator is implanted into the body just below the collarbone. When the pacemaker senses that the heart is beating too slowly, it delivers an electrical impulse to the heart muscle, causing it to contract – and the heart to beat faster.
Getting a pacemaker does not require open-heart surgery because the device is implanted in a small pocket made by the physician in the skin under the collarbone. Once implanted, routine monitoring and follow-up care are necessary to ensure the device continues to function properly.
To learn more about Summa’s A-Fib Program, click or call (800) 237-8662 to schedule an appointment for an evaluation.