Effective treatment for atrial fibrillation can help prevent complications like stroke and heart failure.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm. The two most common complications of the condition are stroke and heart failure, and it's the cause of an estimated 15 to 20 percent of all ischemic strokes. The good news? There is treatment for atrial fibrillation.
Who Is Treated?
Based on the frequency and severity of your symptoms and whether or not you have heart disease, your doctor can determine if your atrial fibrillation requires treatment.
What Are the Goals of Treatment?
The goals of treatment may include regulating heart rate and rhythm, and preventing dangerous blood clots from forming.
What Treatment Options Are There?
Making changes in your lifestyle, such as adopting a healthy diet and exercising regularly, can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, lower high blood pressure and effectively manage stress. In addition to lifestyle changes, medications may be prescribed to control heart rate and rhythm and to thin the blood as a means of clot prevention.
Non-surgical and surgical treatment options are also available. Electrical cardioversion can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done to destroy tissue at the root of your atrial fibrillation. A surgically implanted pacemaker can regulate heartbeat.
To find out more about atrial fibrillation, read our online Health Information pages. To learn about the Heart Center at Denton Regional Medical Center, visit us online or call us at 1-855-477-DRMC for a physician referral.