Ablation more effective for common type of abnormal heartbeat

February is American Heart Month. 

Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib, is an irregular heartbeat that can cause poor blood flow. It can lead to blood clots, stroke and in some cases, heart failure. 

Oussama Wazni, MD, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, said it’s important to see your doctor if it feels like you heart flip-flops or skips a beat. “If we wait too long to address atrial fibrillation, it is more difficult for us to manage it,” he said.

Traditionally, medication is the first treatment used to manage intermittent AFib. If medication doesn’t work, doctors will try a procedure called an ablation.

Dr. Wazni led a clinical trial which found a certain type of ablation is safe, and more effective as the initial treatment. Researchers looked at 203 patients at 24 hospitals around the U.S. Patients received the standard medication, or a cryo balloon ablation. 

After a year, 75% of the patients who received an ablation were still free from AFib.

Source: Cleveland 

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