Treating Atrial Fibrillation & Arrhythmia
- Relieving AF symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life
- Preventing blood clots to decrease the risk of stroke
- Controlling the heart rate to allow the ventricles (lower heart chambers) enough time to fill with blood
- Restoring the heart rhythm to allow the atria (upper heart chambers) and ventricles to work together more efficiently
Once atrial fibrillation is thought to be suppressed or treated, care must still be taken to monitor for recurrences of AF. Even if there are no symptoms, atrial fibrillation may cause a stroke. It is important to talk to Dr. Smith about which treatment options are right for you.
Atrial fibrillation is a serious medical condition and if left untreated, it may lead to blood clots causing stroke or heart attack, fatigue, or heart failure. To help prevent these serious events, it’s important to get your heart checked periodically even if there are no symptoms.
Dr. Macy Smith’s Treatment Options
- Ablation Therapy
- Pacemakers & Defibrillators
- WATCHMAN Implant
- Medical Management
“Dr Macy carefully analyzed my situation and determined the most effective and least invasive solution to my heart problem.”
Ablation therapy, or catheter ablation, is a minimally invasive procedure for treating arrhythmias. The purpose of cardiac ablation therapy is to get your heart to beat correctly and contract regularly in rhythm. Dr. Macy Smith performs different types of ablation depending on the arrhythmia he is treating. Other than atrial fibrillation, ablation therapy may be used for atrial flutter or ventricular tachycardia. When using radiofrequency ablation, Dr. Smith has a success rate of over 90 percent.
“I had been suffering from frequent atrial fibrillation for 13 years. Medications did not help and I was told by several cardiologists that there was nothing they could do and not to worry about it. On my first visit to Dr. Smith, he assured me that there was a remedy. Three weeks later he did a cardiac ablation. I had one more episode 2 weeks later but have had no other problems. I have my energy back and a renewed zest for life! Thank you Dr. Smith!!!” – Linda B.
Cardioversion is a process by which Dr. Smith will shock the heart to convert it from an irregular rhythm back into a normal rhythm. Electrical cardioversion may be required if medications are not able to control a persistent irregular heartbeat. For this treatment, patients will be asleep and Dr. Smith will use a cardioverter machine to deliver a jolt of energy to your heart to hopefully restore your heart’s rhythm.
Pacemakers & Defibrillators
Pacemakers and defibrillators are small battery-powered devices that are placed in the chest or abdomen to control abnormal heart rhythms. These devices apply small painless electrical pulses to the heart. Dr. Macy Smith may use a pacemaker when the heart beats too slowly (bradycardia). Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) treats patients with atrial fibrillation or a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia). Both a pacemaker and ICD would be implanted surgically. These devices can last a lifetime but require periodic maintenance.
The WATCHMAN is an FDA approved procedure in which an implant occludes the left atrial appendage (LAA) – the source of blood clots from atrial fibrillation. This implant eliminates the need for a blood thinners for those at high risk of stroke from AFib. During this procedure, Dr. Smith deploys the WATCHMAN implant into the LAA to prevent the risk of stroke. After just 45 days after implantation, 99% of patients were able to stop taking blood thinners.
Some cardiac arrhythmias may be treated with medical management. This should be discussed with your cardiologist as the medication will be chosen depending on the type of arrhythmia.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information on treatment options for atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias, call 205.510.5000 today! Schedule a consultation with Macy C. Smith, Jr., MD, FACC, FHRS in Birmingham, Alabama.