What Is Atrial Ablation and Is It Right for Me?

Afib is a condition of the heart that causes irregular heartbeat resulting in reduced blood flow through the body. Individuals with afib may feel that their hearts are quivering, flip-flopping, or racing. This irregular heartbeat can lead to weakness, chest pains, and feeling faint. In some people, afib may be mild with little apparent effect, while in others the condition may be serious and require medical treatment. To properly evaluate and diagnosis afib requires an examination by a trained medical professional such as the physicians at Atrial Fibrillation Center Of America. This exam generally involves a complete physical along with lab and diagnostic tests.

Based on the outcome of your exam the doctor may recommend a course of treatment that includes a procedure referred to as atrial ablation. Atrial ablation is often prescribed for patients with afib and has been found to be highly effective. To understand what atrial ablation is, however, it is essential to understand the primary causes of afib.

The heart is comprised of four chambers; two upper chambers called the left and right atria, and two lower chambers called the left and right ventricles. These four chambers work together to pump blood through the body. The pumping action of the heart is caused when a group of specialized heart cells located in the right atria sends out electrical signals which, first, cause the atria to pump. The electrical signals then travel to the lower ventricle. This signal, in turn, causes the ventricle to pump. This pumping action of the heart moves blood through the heart and into the circulatory system.

Afib occurs when the electrical signals become irregular or erratic. These intermittent signals then cause irregular contractions of the heart muscles which, in turn, results in fibrillation. While medications are the first line of defense when treating afib, if these are not effective, then atrial ablation may be recommended. The result of the ablation procedure is to cause disruptions to the irregular electrical signals which cause the afib. Reducing the erratic electrical signals stabilizes the heartbeat and eliminates or reduces the effects of afib. Several approaches to ablation are available to surgeons, and their use depends on many factors. In general, however, ablation techniques result in disrupting tiny amounts of heart tissue along the electrical pathways from the atria to the ventricle. This disruption blocks and/or interrupts the faulty electrical signals and helps regulate the heart rhythm.

Whether ablation is right for you depends on a complete evaluation by trained professionals such as the physicians at Atrial Fibrillation Center Of America. If you believe you may have afib, please call our offices to make an appointment with one of our doctors who can then conduct a thorough medical evaluation. Should you have afib, the doctor will then discuss possible treatment options. Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have, schedule an appointment, and, even, help with out-of-town travel arrangements. Atrial Fibrillation Center Of America offers the finest in afib diagnosis and management, and our professional staff is ready to assist you at any time. Give us a call today, 832-478-5067.

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