Advanced Coronary Artery Surgical Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a condition that causes the heart to beat abnormally (arrhythmia). When the heart beats with a regular rhythm, its upper and lower chambers beat at the same time to pump blood effectively. With atrial fibrillation, the electrical signals that tell the heart when to contract and expand do not work together in the way they should. The condition causes heartbeats that are irregular, too fast or too slow.

Advanced Ablation Techniques

Treatment for atrial fibrillation varies according to the severity of the condition. Mild cases can often be treated successfully with medication and lifestyle changes. When the arrhythmia is more severe, a process called ablation may be used to remove the portion of the heart that is causing the irregular heartbeats.

The experts at Orlando Health Heart Institute offer several types of ablation including;

  • Radiofrequency ablation. Also called catheter ablation, this type uses radiofrequency energy similar to microwave energy to destroy the heart tissue causing the inappropriately rapid heart rate.
  • Cryoablation. Uses extreme cold to destroy the portions of the heart responsible for the arrhythmia.
  • Atrioventricular node ablation. Targets a large portion of the atrioventricular node, which is responsible for controlling heart rate and rhythm. Requires a pacemaker (device that controls your heartbeat) after the procedure to help the heart establish and maintain a regular heart rhythm.
  • Concomitant atrial fibrillation ablation. Ablation that is done during open-heart surgery rather than after the procedure is completed. Improves the heart's rhythm and decreases stroke risk.
  • Thoracoscopic epicardial ablation. Minimally invasive treatment method that uses a small camera inserted through a tiny tube into the heart’s muscle to better identify and treat the areas of the heart responsible for the erratic heartbeat.
  • Thoracoscopic epicardial ablation and endocardial catheter ablation. Also called the hybrid ablation or the convergent method, this minimally invasive approach uses a team of specialists that includes experts in cardiac electrophysiology and cardiothoracic surgery. The procedure targets areas both inside and outside the heart for better results that do not require long-term medication.
  • Thoracoscopic left atrial appendage (LAA) management. Uses a device called an AtriClip to close a portion of the heart to prevent blood flow to the area. The risk of stroke increases with atrial fibrillation. LAA management can help reduce the potential for stroke and the health challenges it brings.