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There are several identified benefits to treating atrial fibrillation. There is the opportunity for improved quality of life and an increased activity level. The patient could see a reduction in the need for medication, as well as lower the risk of stroke and heart failure.
Initially, medications are used to treat AF. The medications may include:
A mainstay of treatment in which an electric current is delivered to the heart while the patient is sedated. In many cases, this will restore normal heart rhythm.
Though not everyone with AF needs an implantable device, there are many reasons one may be recommended for you.
Ablation uses an energy source to create areas of scar tissue on the inside or outside of the heart. Because abnormal electrical signals cannot pass through scar tissue, the irregular signals stop and in many cases, normal rhythm returns. This procedure may reduce the number of medications needed. AF ablation is the newest addition to the spectrum of complex ablations that are provided by the Electrophysiology Program at The Chester County Hospital. There are two approaches to ablating AF - catheter and surgical. Both have the same goal, to block the electrical impulses responsible for AF.
Last Updated: 7/30/2009