Atrial Fibrillation

In a healthy heart, a steady electrical current keeps the heart beating in a regular rhythm. Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) results when the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) receive chaotic electrical impulses and send mixed signals to the ventricles. As a result, the heart muscle pumps less efficiently, and irregularly, creating a higher risk for blood clots, stroke and heart failure. Our treatment provides options for patients in any stage of atrial fibrillation: paroxysmal, persistent or long-standing persistent.

Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation – episodes of atrial fibrillation that come and go. It lasts 7 days or less. Persistent Atrial Fibrillation – atrial fibrillation that lasts more than 7 days. Long-Standing Persistent – atrial fibrillation that lasts longer than one year. Permanent Atrial Fibrillation – atrial fibrillation where a decision has been made by the patient and the physician to not restore the atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm by any surgical or catheter ablation means.

There is no modality to treat atrial fibrillation that we do not offer. We offer radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and laser ablation. The Hybrid approach provides an answer for patients who have previously failed medication and prior ablation treatment. The VATS MAZE procedure, Convergent approach, and the Convergent Plus are examples of hybrid procedures that can be used to treat persistent atrial fibrillation. By uniting the expertise of an electrophysiologist, and a cardiothoracic surgeon, we can address persistent arrhythmias that don’t respond well to pharmaceuticals.

Providers

Frank Laws

MD, FACC

At Valley View, proven strategies and research-based innovations help our physicians get to the heart of heart problems.

Diagnostic and therapeutic electrophysiology

Diagnostic and therapeutic electrophysiology helps our physicians determine the exact origins of atrial fibrillation and target damaged areas with superior accuracy.

Medications

Medications, including anti-coagulants to prevent blood clots, are the first line of defense and can help many patients with occasional or mildly persistent atrial fibrillation feel more comfortable and live more fully.

Cardioversions 

Cardioversions help return the heart to a regular rhythm by combining any needed medications with a procedure that sends electrical shocks to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest. For many patients, cardioversion can quickly resolve erratic heart rhythms, and most go home the same day as the procedure.

Ablations

Ablations offer superior treatment for A-fib. These minimally invasive procedures have been proven more effective than medication, with patients reporting fewer repeat ablations, cardioversions or re-hospitalizations. We offer Radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and laser ablation.

Implants

Pacemaker, defibrillator and device-monitoring implants allow our surgeons to positively impact heart rhythms on a daily basis by situating small devices under the skin or in the chest cavity to deliver consistent, electrical signals that help the heart beat regularly and in rhythm with the needs of the body.

  • A pacemaker is situated under the skin in the chest to address arrhythmias. A defibrillator or ICD (implanted cardioversion defibrillator) regulates the heartbeat to protect the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) from dangerous rhythms that could initiate cardiac arrest.
  • Biventricular pacemaker/defibrillator implants correct erratic electrical impulses in both ventricle chambers so the body receives the consistent blood flow it needs.
  • Device-monitoring implants help our physicians keep an eye on rhythmic patterns and make any needed adjustments to make sure that pacemakers and defibrillators are supporting the heart muscle with optimal performance.