Diagnosing atrial fibrillation
Your provider will do a complete medical evaluation to diagnose atrial fibrillation.
Patients will be asked about their medical history and undergo a physical exam.
Diagnostic tests may be ordered, including:
Treating atrial fibrillation
Treatment for AFib includes preventing blood clots from forming and restoring a normal heartbeat. Your doctor also will want to treat any conditions that can cause or raise the risk of atrial fibrillation. Treatment can include:
AFib Treatment Types & Procedures
Convergent procedure: The Cardiovascular Institute at Maine Medical Center offers patients with atrial fibrillation a new treatment called the convergent procedure. The procedure often helps people who’ve tried other forms of treatment without success.
The convergent procedure uses radiofrequency to create scar tissue on the heart that will block abnormal signals. A cardiac surgeon and electro-physiologist work together as a team. The procedure is done through a small incision in the abdomen. Talk to your provider to find out if the convergent procedure is right for you.
Watchman: Maine Medical Center is the only hospital in northern New England to offer the Watchman device for people with atrial fibrillation seeking an alternative to taking blood thinners. The Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure is implanted in the left atrial appendage of the heart. It will keep harmful blood clots from entering your blood stream.
Ask your doctor if the Watchman device may be right for you.
Catheter ablation: The most effective treatment for some arrhythmias is to destroy the tissue in the heart where the short circuit that’s causing the rhythm disturbance starts. This non-surgical procedure is called ablation, and it involves threading a catheter through a blood vessel to locate the problem using fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray). Through the catheter, the specialist then delivers either radiofrequency energy to cauterize (burn), or intense cold (cryotherapy) to freeze and destroy a small amount of tissue, which helps restore a healthy heart rhythm. Catheter ablation is successful in a high percentage of cases, eliminating the need for open-heart surgeries or long-term drug therapies in many patients.