September is National Atrial Fibrillation Month. Learn more about this common heart arrhythmia and how it’s treated.
Atrial fibrillation, or AF, is the most common type of heart arrhythmia. An arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, is a problem with the heartbeat’s rate or rhythm. The heart can beat too fast, too slow, or have an irregular rhythm.
People who have AF may not even feel any symptoms, but their heart is unable to pump blood completely out of its chambers. Not only can their blood pool and possibly clot, which can result in stroke, their lungs and the rest of their body may not receive enough blood, which can lead to heart failure.
Atrial Fibrillation Treatments
Those diagnosed with atrial fibrillation should carefully consider the treatment options available with a specialist. Some treatments for AF include:
- Medication can be prescribed to regulate the heart's rhythm or to thin blood and prevent stroke.
- Electrical cardioversion is a procedure in which electric impulses in the form of low-energy shocks are given to the heart while a patient is temporarily put to sleep.
- Catheter ablation is a procedure that may be performed if medicines or electrical cardioversion are not successful. Both of these procedures are often performed in an electrophysiology (EP) lab, where arrhythmia testing, diagnosis and treatments are conducted.
Denton Regional Medical Center is home to a new state-of-the-art EP lab that opened earlier this year. It allows our cardiac staff to diagnose and treat patients with AF and other heart conditions. For more information about the Heart Center at Denton Regional, visit us online. Call 1-855-477-DRMC for a physician referral.