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Our Approach to Atrial Fibrillation Treatment

Our providers have the experience necessary to provide comprehensive and contemporary treatment options for AFib. Our approach is based on four pillars of care:

1: Restoring and maintaining normal sinus rhythm

Most people have better quality of life - and in many cases experience less risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke - with maintenance of the sinus rhythm and suppression of atrial fibrillation. We employ a number of different treatment options to lower your burden of atrial fibrillation, including:

  • Anti-arrhythmic medications - These medicines are designed to suppress atrial fibrillation and promote normal rhythm.

  • Cardioversion - A non-invasive procedure performed to terminate atrial fibrillation and restore normal heart rhythm.

  • Catheter ablation - A minimally invasive, safe and effective procedure designed to reduce the amount of AFib you experience over time. We  offer various different types of ablation options for AFib, including:
    • Radiofrequency catheter ablation 
    • Cryoballoon ablation
    • Hybrid surgical ablation
       

 

2: Controlling the heart rate during episodes of AFib

Rapid heart rates are common in untreated AFib, with symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort and dizziness. Untreated AFib can result in a weakining of the heart muscle over time, which ultimately leads to congestive heart failure. We utilize several different tools to ensure that your heart rates are controlled when you have episodes of AFib, including:

  • Rate controlling medications, such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers

  • Implanted cardiac devices, such as pacemakers and loop recorders 

  • Ablation of the AV node, which is done in combination with a pacemaker implantation when medications have not been sufficient to control AFib
     

3: Minimizing stroke risk

The risk for stroke is five times higher in individuals with AFib. We assess your individual stroke risk and reduce that risk using:

  • Anticoagulation medications or “blood thinners” to prevent clot formation in the heart

  • Left atrial appendage closure - A procedure designed to reduce your risk of stroke when blood thinning medications are not safe or cannot be used.


4: Risk factor and lifestyle modification 

In addition to the medications and procedures above, there are various lifestyle and risk factor modifications that can reduce your burden of atrial fibrillation. These include weight loss, treatment of sleep apnea and high blood pressure, exercise, healthy eating, and avoidance of AFib triggers such as heavy alcohol use and stress. In our AFib Clinic, we collaborate with other providers to help you manage all AFib risk factors, and design a treatment plan tailored to your needs. 
 

Innovations in AFib Treatment

Our team is at the forefront of AFib clinical research, offering cutting-edge technologies for ablation and other advanced therapies. We have presented at national and international conferences and published in peer reviewed journals.

Piedmont Heart is focused on improving care and outcomes through research and discovery, including atrial fibrillation clinical trials.

Make an Appointment with the AFib Clinic

We work with patients, their referring physician, and their families to manage the care of each patient with a personalized approach to care. To make an appointment with an AFib specialist, or to refer a patient, please call 404-605-2888.

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