Atrial Fibrillation

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 your body. 
  • 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 
  • Fatigue 
  • Confusion 

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 Forest 

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 following: 

Only you 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. 

Contact Us 

Request an appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free) 

 

Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 05-27-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.