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Atrial Fibrillation

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What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation, commonly known as “Afib,” is an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that originates in the atria—the top chambers of the heart. It is the most common arrhythmia and affects millions of people.

During Afib, the electrical impulses of the heart do not start in the normal area. Instead, they start in different areas of the atria and spread out chaotically, making the heartbeat irregular.

Afib is stressful because it can be so unpredictable, occurring at almost any time, and lasting minutes, hours or days. Patients may be afraid to travel or attend social events for fear of experiencing Afib.

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

Symptoms can vary greatly. Some people have few symptoms or none at all, while others are aware the exact moment they go into Afib. Many patients report feeling:

  • Heart pounding
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort
  • Decreased ability to exercise
  • Fatigue

UR Medicine's Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation

  • Ablation therapy. A small wire is passed through a blood vessel up to the heart to create scar tissue that isolates abnormal electrical signals. Ablation therapy is the only treatment that offers a potential cure for this arrhythmia. No incisions are needed, and the patient will often go home within 24 hours. 
  • Rate-controlling strategy. Several medications can help control the heart rate. This is important because very fast, uncontrolled heart rates can weaken the heart muscle and cause heart failure.
  • Rhythm-controlling strategy. Keeping the heart beating normally can be done with either electrical cardioversion or special medications that can control Afib. However, medications can’t be expected to cure Afib. Treating AF with medications requires faithful, continued usage.
  • Left Atrial Appendage ClosureThis procedure is a non-medication method to reduce stroke risk in non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients.
  • Maze procedure. A heart surgery that creates scar tissue to block the abnormal electrical signals causing the arrhythmia.

It’s vital to reduce the risk of clots and stroke through medications such as the newer direct oral anticoagulants (Eliquis, Xarelto, Pradaxa, or Savaysa) or Warfarin, depending on each individual patient’s risk.

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine Cardiac Care is a world leader in heart rhythm disorders. Doctors here led research that has changed the way arrhythmias are treated around the world. 

Other medical centers use our guidelines when deciding which patients need treatment for serious cardiac rhythm problems. We offer the most advanced and effective treatments for heart rhythm disorders and perform more of them than any other hospital in the Rochester area. In many cases, the treatments we provide are unavailable elsewhere in the region.

We have three fully equipped labs for ablation and device implants. These labs are staffed by nurses and technicians who work exclusively on heart rhythm disorders. Our newest lab provides robotic navigation for radiofrequency ablation, giving our patients even greater precision, safety, and versatility.


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20 locations

Cardiac Care - Brighton

Clinton Crossings, Building G
2400 South Clinton Avenue, 1st Floor
Rochester, NY 14618

Cardiac Care - Dansville

Noyes Memorial Hospital
111 Cara Barton Street
Dansville, NY 14437

Cardiac Care - Canandaigua - Canandaigua

Thompson Professional Building
395 West Street, Suite 307
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Cardiac Care - Clifton Springs

Finger Lakes Cardiology
410 Clifton Springs Professional Park
Clifton Springs, NY 14432

Cardiac Care - Rochester

Highland Hospital
1000 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620

Cardiac Care - Irondequoit

999 East Ridge Road, Suite 1000
Rochester, NY 14621

Cardiac Care - Penfield

1835 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, Suite 200
Penfield, NY 14526

Cardiac Care - Henrietta

Red Creek (Calkins Corporate Park)
600 Red Creek Drive, Suite 100
Rochester, NY 14623

Cardiac Care - Seneca Falls

Lifecare Medical Associates
1991 Balsley Road
Seneca Falls, NY 13148

Cardiac Care - Brockport

Strong West
156 West Avenue, 3rd Floor
Brockport, NY 14420

Cardiac Care - Wellsville

Jones Memorial Hospital
191 North Main Street
Wellsville, NY 14895

Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Laboratory - Rochester

Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, Ground Floor, G-1200
Rochester, NY 14620

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Hornell

St. James Medical Office Building
7309 Seneca Road North, Suite 104
Hornell, NY 14843

Paul N. Yu Heart Center - Rochester

Ambulatory Care Center at Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, Ground Floor
Rochester, NY 14626

Cardiac Care - Brighton

140 Canal View Boulevard, Suite 102
Rochester, NY 14623

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Canandaigua

FF Thompson Hospital
350 Parrish Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Wellsville

Jones Memorial Hospital
191 North Main St​reet
Wellsville, NY 14895

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