Atrial fibrillation, often called “A-fib,” is the most common type
of heart rhythm disorder. It can increase your risk of stroke and heart failure. At the Wake
Heart & Vascular Center, we can help you manage atrial fibrillation through
medication or cardiac ablation, a minimally invasive procedure.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular, fast heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can
cause poor blood flow from your heart to your body. It results from problems
with your heart’s electrical system.
- Normally, electrical signals tell the atria
(upper chambers of the heart) to steadily contract and pump blood throughout
- Problems with those signals cause the atria
to flutter rather than contract, which limits the amount of blood being pumped
out of the atria.
- Blood then pools in the atria, where it can
form a blood clot.
- If the heart pumps a clot into the
bloodstream, the clot can go to the brain and cause a stroke by blocking blood flow.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation often doesn’t produce clear symptoms. Some
symptoms you may notice include:
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or difficulty exercising
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or fainting
Diagnosing Atrial Fibrillation
At Wake Forest Baptist, our physicians diagnose atrial
fibrillation by evaluating your family and medical history and performing a
physical exam. If your physician suspects atrial fibrillation, he or she may
recommend one or more of the following:
Learn more about heart and vascular diagnosis at Wake Forest.
Treating Atrial Fibrillation at Wake
Your treatment course will depend on several factors, such as how
long you’ve had A-fib and how severe your symptoms are. We will develop a
personalized treatment plan for you, which may include one or more of the
and your doctor can decide which treatment is right for you. All of our
patients receive pre-operative counseling to help them understand the risks and
benefits of procedures.
an appointment online. Or, for more
information, please call:
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