Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation
Learn how electrophysiologist Steven Hao, M.D. treats abnormal heart rhythms by watching our "Now You Know" video called the "Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Explained."Opens new window
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common irregular heart rhythm disorder in the United States, affecting about 2.2 million Americans. Causes and symptoms may vary. In short, AF can be described as an abnormal heart-beat, rapid and disorganized. This may not sound so bad until you find out that due to upper heart muscle function irregularity, blood is not pumped completely out of the heart’s upper chamber therefore clotting may occur and become lodged in a brain artery causing stroke. About 15 percent of strokes occur in persons with AF. Developing AF increases with age particularly for persons over 60, up to 5% of persons over 65 have AF.
Ablation - Treatment Options and Guidelines
Treating Atrial fibrillation (AF) with ablation or pulmonary vein antral isolation, results in a complete cure from atrial fibrillation in more than 90% of patients. To achieve these results, some patients may require two procedures. Highly trained cardiac electrophysiologists using radiofrequency energy to destroy very small, carefully selected group of tissues in the left atrium, pulmonary veins, and superior vena cava that start and maintain atrial fibrillation preform the procedure. Special technology is utilized to visualize and reconstruct the heart’s anatomy in three-dimensional (3D) images providing a safer procedure.
Ablation cures AF by scarring of the tissues surrounding the pulmonary veins, left atrium, and superior vena cava with radiofrequency ablation eliminating and/or isolates the triggers that start and maintain AF.
Chronic treatment of AF with antiarrhythmic medications is effective approximately 50% of the time, and may cause significant side effects. Use of Coumadin to minimize the risk for stroke associated with AF is often inconvenient for patients and carries a higher risk for bleeding. Curing AF can eliminate the need for lifelong treatment with medications, and significantly improve the patient’s quality of life.
California Pacific's Heart and Vascular Center
California Pacific's Heart and Vascular Center is supported by one of the best heart hospital/center networks in the USA, offering quality, comprehensive patient-centered cardiovascular care by a team of top heart surgeons and physicians with leading-edge technology. Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco and Marin County, as well as the entire Northern California region, our team has many of the best cardiovascular surgeons and physicians in California and the United States.