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What is Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation?

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The ablation of atrial fibrillation refers to an invasive procedure used in atrial fibrillation treatment. Ablation is the melting away or removal of unwanted tissue or structure. Atrial fibrillation is a common cardiac arrhythmia. The occurrence of atrial fibrillation has increased over the years, in both developing word and developed world. In case you have atrial fibrillation, electrical impulses don’t usually arise in the Sino-atria (SA) node. However, most impulses start simultaneously & spread through the atria and will compete for an opportunity to travel through the atrioventricular (AV) node. This, therefore, will result in a disorganized, irregular, and very rapid heartbeat.

The impulses rate through the atria ranges from 300-600 beats in every minute. Luckily, as the impulses pass through the atrioventricular (AV) node, they are slowed down, and the resultant pulse rate is mostly below 150 beats in every minute.

Atrial fibrillation classification

  1. Persistent atrial fibrillation

The episodes of atrial fibrillation will last for over seven (7) days

  1. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

This simply means that atrial fibrillation terminate spontaneously and normally lasts for less seven (7) days

  1. Permanent atrial fibrillation

This refers to an atrial fibrillation that failed cardioversion, or in which cardioversion was not even attempted.

  1. Lone atrial fibrillation

This refers to an atrial fibrillation that occurs when you are still young with no evidence of a significant disease.

  1. Non-valvular atrial fibrillation

This refers to an atrial fibrillation occurring in the absence of any illness that involve your heart valves.

Atrial fibrillation symptoms

There are some patients with atrial fibrillation that may be fully asymptomatic. Some of the bothersome symptoms that you may have include palpitations, breath shortness, chest discomfort, giddiness, and fatigue among many others.

The risk factors for atrial fibrillation

Some of the risk factors of atrial fibrillation include the following;

  • Increasing age
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Chronic renal disease

Reasons why atrial fibrillation is dangerous

Atrial fibrillation is dangerous since it increases the stroke risks significantly. If you have atrial fibrillation, you are about 3 to 5 times more likely to experience a stroke than when you don’t have it. Heart contractions that are not coordinated will lead to blood pooling within your atria. This blood pooling will result in the formation of a clot, and when this gets dislodged & pumped into your bloodstreams, it will potentially go to your brain and cause a stroke. Apart from increasing stroke risks, atrial fibrillation can also result in heart failure.

How atrial fibrillation is diagnosed

After a serious physical examination and interview, your physician will order some investigations. An electrocardiogram can be used in diagnosing of atrial fibrillation. An electrocardiogram is simply a test that will check for any problem with electrical activity of your heart.

Furthermore, your doctor can order other tests, such as chest X-ray, an echocardiogram, or even blood tests.

Atrial fibrillation management

The management of atrial fibrillation usually seeks to attain three main goals. These goals include;

  1. Slowing down your heart rate
  2. Restoring and maintaining your normal heart rhythm
  3. Prevention of stroke

In conclusion, the above is just some of the information that you need to know about atrial fibrillation. Currently, the alternative drugs that are used to treat atrial fibrillation include clopidogrel and aspirin. If you have atrial fibrillation, you should be aware that relatively simple treatment measures will reduce stroke risks dramatically. Therefore, it is always imperative that you seek medication early in case you suspect you have this condition.

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