Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat). An estimated 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib. What causes atrial fibrillation can range from heart defects or abnormalities to unexplained causes, but those living with AFib are five times more likely to suffer a stroke. The goals of AFib treatment include regaining a normal heart rhythm and controlling the heart rate.
The atrial fibrillation program within Tampa General Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute provides highly individualized care, recognizing that each patient’s situation is unique. Our model of care emphasizes working closely with you, your referring physician and a team of atrial fibrillation specialists. A customized treatment plan will decrease your stroke risk, reduce or eliminate your symptoms and may result in a better long-term outcome.
Common Atrial Fibrillation Treatment Options
There are a variety of non-surgical and surgical atrial fibrillation treatments available, and our team will craft a treatment plan that best suits your needs. Treatments are recommended based on factors such as:
- Severity of symptoms
- Type of atrial fibrillation
- Paroxysmal (intermittent)
- Associated medical problems
- Associated heart disease
Diagnostic MRI Mapping and Cardiac Ablation Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation
Ablation is a common treatment option for atrial fibrillation. Traditionally, a catheter in the heart is used to identify the areas of the atria to target for ablation. Tampa General Hospital is the only hospital in the Tampa Bay area offering a new advanced MRI mapping technique that provides better diagnostic information to develop a personalized treatment plan of areas to target and improves the success rate of ablation. The new technology utilizes high-quality segmentation on MRI images of the atrium to analyze atrial tissue. The images provide a detailed 3D visual model of the patient’s heart structure. This technology is intended to provide a higher success rate and often shorter procedure time because of the improved MRI mapping.
WATCHMAN™ Device for Treating Atrial Fibrillation
Tampa General Hospital offers the WATCHMAN™, the only FDA-approved heart implant proven to reduce stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem. The WATCHMAN™ is a minimally invasive, one-time procedure that can replace the need for long-term blood thinners. Learn more about the WATCHMAN™ Implant and how it effectively reduces the risk of stroke in AFib patients.
A Team Approach to AFib Care
Each member of our care team specializes in treating atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias. The care team includes an electrophysiologist (a cardiologist who specializes in heart rhythm conditions), a cardiologist, a heart failure specialist, an echocardiographer, a cardiac anesthesiologist, as well as nurse practitioners and care team coordinators. Our multidisciplinary approach to care combined with high-volume experience allows us to develop a safe and effective treatment plan and to monitor your progress and response to treatment.
We are Among the Best Electrophysiology Programs
Our commitment to providing world-class atrial fibrillation diagnosis and treatment has helped Tampa General Hospital be recognized as one of America's Best Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery, in addition to Best Florida Hospital for Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2020-2021.
TGH has also been awarded full Atrial Fibrillation with Electrophysiology Services Accreditation status from the American College of Cardiology for its expertise and commitment to quality patient care.
Contact Tampa General Hospital to learn more about our atrial fibrillation program or use our online searchable database to find a cardiologist or an electrophysiologist.