Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an irregular heart rhythm that originates in the top chambers of the heart called the atria. It is the most common arrhythmia and affects millions of patients. During AF, the electrical impulses of the heart do not start in the normal area. Instead, they start in many different areas of the atria and spread out chaotically, making the heartbeat irregular. Many people may find it quite stressful to have AF because episodes can be very unpredictable and can occur at almost any time. Patients may be afraid to travel and attend social events for fear of experiencing AF.
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation present differently in different people. Some people have few symptoms or none at all, while others are aware the exact moment they go into AF. Many patients report feeling:
Another important consideration with AF is preventing blood clots from forming, which can lead to stroke. This is true for both rate- and rhythm-controlling strategies. Reducing the risk of clots and stroke through medications such as the newer Direct Oral Anticoagulants (Eliquis, Xarelto, Pradaxa or Savaysa) or warfarin is common and depends on each individual patient’s risk.
UR Medicine Heart & Vascular is a world leader in heart rhythm disorders. Doctors here lead research that has changed the way arrhythmias are treated around the world and offer patients the most advanced and effective treatments for atrial fibrillation in addition to performing more of those treatments than any other hospital in the Rochester area. In many cases, the treatments our physicians provide are unavailable elsewhere in the region.
UR Medicine Heart & Vascular has 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 labs are equipped with the latest technologies such as cryoballoon ablation, high definition mapping systems and robotic navigation.
If you have symptoms of atrial fibrillation or believe you may have a heart rhythm disorder, call us at (585) 275-4775 or (585) 338-2700.