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Diagnosis and Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

An irregular heart rate that is often rapid in pace, causing poor blood flow and circulation throughout the body is known as atrial fibrillation.  Heart palpitations, a shortness of breath and weakness or fatigue are often symptoms of this condition.

Episodes of atrial fibrillation may arrive periodically or a person may develop a chronic condition.  It is usually not life threatening; however, atrial fibrillation is considered a serious medical condition that requires treatment and careful monitoring.

Tests to Determine Atrial Fibrillation

In order for your Phoenix cardiologist to determine if you have atrial fibrillation a series of tests may be required.  The most common diagnostic tests include:

Electrocardiogram or ECG – A noninvasive test that requires the patient to wear electrode patches in order to measure the impulses given off by the heart.

Holter monitor – This portable machine is worn under the clothing and keeps track of the heartbeats.  The information is recorded as you go about your daily routine and activities.  Your doctor can then assess the electrical activity that took place.

Echocardiogram – An echocardiogram is another noninvasive test that uses sound waves to produce a video image of the heart.  Through the image your doctor is able to detect any structural problems associated with the heart.

Blood tests – Blood tests help your doctor rule out other medical problems such as a thyroid issue.  Blood tests can also reveal if there are high levels of blood sugar or cholesterol in the system that may be contributing to heart abnormalities.

Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation

There are a number of options for treatment of atrial fibrillation.  From the administering of medication to heart rate control with AV node ablation, the options vary.  Depending on the severity of your condition and how you respond to conservative care will determine what kind of treatment is most effective. Dr. Batres, an experienced cardiologist in Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix

Heart rate control can be done so through medications such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers.  Blood pressure lowering medications are sometimes effective in controlling heart rate irregularities associated with atrial fibrillation.

In some cases, blood thinners should be given, especially if the patient is at risk for the development of blood clots.  Blood-thinning medications may consist of Coumadin or Pradaxa.

Atrioventricular node ablation or AV node ablation is used when medications are not effective in treating the condition.  The procedure is only conducted after all other forms of treatment are exhausted.

Dr. Batres, the Valley’s leading cardiologist in Arizona, can help determine what treatment is best suited for your condition after assessing your symptoms and diagnosing the problem.

AZ Heart Doctor is the premier cardiologist in Arizona serving patients throughout the Valley. Dr. Yasir Batres is a Board Certified cardiologist who offers comprehensive noninterventional services. Most insurance is accepted, call (480) 300-4646 today!

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