What Are Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation?


Quick Answer

Treatments for atrial fibrillation include medication, surgical procedures, use of devices and even lifestyle changes, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Treatment for atrial fibrillation strives for several end goals, including reducing the risk of blood clot formation, restoring a normal heartbeat, regulating heart rate and minimizing the risk of a stroke. The type of atrial fibrillation primarily determines the matching treatment, although cardiologists often use multiple treatment options for relief.

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Full Answer

Atrial fibrillation treatment also takes into account underlying causes and length and severity of symptoms. Some patients present underlying issues, such as thyroid conditions. Physicians typically treat the primary causes, which in turn eliminates atrial fibrillation.

For many cases of atrial fibrillation, cardiologists prescribe medication, as reported by the Cleveland Clinic. These medications include rhythm control, heart rate control and anticoagulant medicines. Rhythm control medications help the heart restore or maintain a normal sinus rhythm. Heart rate control drugs slow the rate of heart beats during ventricular fibrillation episodes. Anticoagulants prevent blood clots, helping blood flow smoothly into and out of the heart.

For more serious and complex cases, cardiologists typically intervene with surgery. Surgical remedies include catheter ablation, surgical maze procedures and atrioventricular node ablation. These procedures, through different techniques, target and destroy faulty areas of heart tissue producing abnormal electrical signals. Removal or eradication of this tissue restores normal heart functions.

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