Understanding Atrial Fibrillation

If you’ve been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and would like more detailed information on the symptoms, risks and treatment options, SSM Health can help. Get started by downloading the FREE “Understanding Atrial Fibrillation” guide. After reviewing our AFib guide, schedule an appointment with one of our cardiovascular specialists to start developing a health plan specific to your needs.

Testing & Treatment Options

SSM Health specialists perform hundreds of pacemaker placements and cardiovascular defibrillator implants each year. We also provide the following diagnostic studies and treatment options for AFib:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Echocardiogram (TEE or TTE)
  • Blood tests
  • Exercise tests
  • Chest X-rays
  • Cardiac electrophysiology: measures the electrical potential of the body, often by inserting a special catheter to record ongoing electrical activity of the heart

Treating AFib

  • Treat underlying conditions, like overactive thyroid function or cardiac diseases
  • Medications: typically aspirin or wayfarin (Coumadin) to prevent blood clots
  • Electrical cardioversion: a jolt of electricity to the heart, either through paddles or wires
  • Ablation: uses a catheter and radio waves to destroy small areas of cells in the heart thought to be the source of the electrical malfunction
  • Maze procedure: small, precise cuts or catheter burns are made in specific areas of the atria
  • Pacemaker or cardiovascular defibrillator: these devices are placed inside the body to control heart rate and rhythm

Complete the form to receive your Understanding Atrial Fibrillation guide.  

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