What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is one of the most common and under-treated irregular heart rhythm conditions in America. The most common type of cardiac arrhythmia, its diagnosis indicates that blood isn’t moving properly through the heart. This increases the risk of stroke, congestive heart failure and may cause chronic fatigue.
Patients with AFib have heartbeats significantly faster than a normal heartbeat. Because AFib causes the heart to beat at a faster rhythm, blood is not completely pumped from the heart’s atria, increasing the chances of pooling and clotting.
Types of Atrial Fibrillation
The three types of AFib are:
- Paroxysmal – Paroxysmal AFib is not constant. The heartbeat may increase and last for seconds, minutes, hours or days before returning to normal rhythm. Patients with Paroxysmal AFib usually present more symptoms due to the pulse rate increasing and slowing in short periods of time. Paroxysmal AFib can be treated with medication and, in cases where additional treatment is necessary, ablation.
- Persistent – Persistent AFib does not stop naturally, but can be remedied through medications or controlled electric shock (cardioversion).
- Permanent AFib - Permanent AFib cannot be corrected with either medication or controlled electric shock.
Atrial Fibrillation by Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates
Atrial Fibrillation Treatment
Rocky Mountain Heart Rhythm Institute is constantly at the forefront of new AFib treatment methods. One such treatment, the Convergent Procedure, is a minimally invasive procedure performed outside the operating room.
What is the Convergent Procedure?
The Convergent Procedure is designed to treat the type of AFib that:
- Has not responded to previous – even multiple – ablation procedures
- Was not eligible for an ablation procedure in the past
- Is either Permanent or longstanding Persistent
- Is associated with a large left atrium
How Does the Convergent Procedure Work?
The Convergent Procedure is a special hybrid approach to treating advanced forms of AFib without requiring chest incisions. A scope inserted through a small incision in the abdomen is used to evaluate pulmonary vein AFib triggers for activity and ablated through a standard catheter approach fed through the patient’s groin. A unique combination of heat and freezing energy is then used to produce truly impressive results for types of AFib thought previously untreatable.