At Fix AFib, we realize you have numerous concerns and questions about this deadly condition. That’s why we’ve incorporated as much information about atrial fibrillation – ranging from basic to complex – on this page and throughout the website.

Many questions about the condition can be answered by visiting our AFIB 101 page, as well as on posts found on our blog, THE SCOOP. If your question relates to what you can expect as a patient of our clinic, please review the video found on the SERVICES page. Keep in mind our staff is here to help. If you don’t find an answer to your question, please contact us for immediate assistance.

What caused this (my atrial fibrillation)?

• AFib onset is multifactorial, meaning there is more than one cause.
• Multiple modifiable risk factors which can cause AFib are: hypertension, obesity, excessive alcohol and sleep apnea.
• Our focus is helping patients with the modifiable risk factors, or specific actions to reduce or eliminate or to alleviate the AFib for example identification and treatment of sleep apnea.

Why do I need to take an anticoagulant?

• Two life threatening outcomes associated with Afib are clot formation that can lead to strokes and heart failure- the heart’s inability to adequately pump blood
• In AFib patients, the CHA2 DS 2 VASc risk calculator is used to determine if a patient would benefit from anticoagulants. For example, if a risk score is > 2 the patient is at moderate to high risk of a stroke event over the year
• Anticoagulants are used to reduce the chance of a stroke

What are the treatment options?

• The treatment options are pharmacological or medicines along with procedures to suppress abnormal rhythms of the heart
• Medicines include antiarrhythmic agents that chemically attempt to alter the rhythm and procedures that physically alter the heart and surrounding anatomy to suppress the arrhythmia.
• Procedures include cardioversions, ablations and a combination of surgical ablations known as the hybrid approach.
• Ablations can be done with different energy sources such as freezing in a cryoablation, radio frequency ablation or laser ablation.
• Ablations are the most common procedural option for AFib and the mainstay is to block the pulmonary veins from initiating the abnormal rhythm known as pulmonary vein isolation.
• If a patient has tried all of these options and is still experiencing AFib we may consider a modified maze or hybrid approach, a more aggressive attempt to physically stop the abnormal rhythm.

What does rate versus rhythm control mean?

• A normal heart rate is an average of 60 -100 beats per minute (BPM), 110 – 120 BPM with exercise.
• In Afib patients heart rates can average > 130 – 140 BPM
• Rate control medicines try to maintain the rate below an average of < 120 BPM.
• Rhythm control medicines attempt to keep the heart in normal sinus rhythm. Sinus rhythm is the consistent pattern of rhythm that starts in the same place of the heart to pump the blood.

For much more detail about AFib treatment options and our areas of expertise, see our SERVICES PAGE where you can click each of the images under “Treatment Options” to find expanded information about the six methods we recommend to combat AFib.