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Electrophysiologists at the Snyder Center may use one or more of the following treatment approaches. Because A-Fib treatment at the Snyder Center is tailored to each patient's condition and health status, your individual treatment recommendations will vary.
Medications are often used initially to treat A-Fib. Medications may include:
- Rhythm control medications (antiarrhythmic drugs) – Antiarrhythmic medications help return the heart to its normal sinus rhythm or maintain normal sinus rhythm.
- Rate control medications – Rate control medications, such as B-blockers and calcium channel blockers, are used to help slow the heart rate during atrial fibrillation.
- Anticoagulant medications – Anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy medications reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke, but they do not eliminate the risk.
The Snyder Center team is equipped to help with all lifestyle changes, including:
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Limiting the use of caffeine
When medications fail to correct or control atrial fibrillation, or when medications aren't well tolerated by a patient, a procedure may be necessary to treat the abnormal heart rhythm. Procedures include:
Some patients may require a device, such as:
- Implantable loop recorder
- Permanent pacemaker
- Left atrial appendage closure device (Watchman, Lariat)
Certain patients are candidates for surgical treatment of A-Fib. These include patients with one or more of the following characteristics:
- Other conditions requiring heart surgery
- Atrial fibrillation that persists after optimal treatment with medications
- Unsuccessful catheter ablation
- Enlarged left atrium
Surgical procedures include:
- Maze procedure
- Excision or exclusion of the left atrial appendage