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Atrial Fibrillation & Arrhythmia Clinic

An irregular, often fast heart beat—also known as atrial fibrillation (AFib)—is a serious condition that can impact daily life and cause health problems including stroke, heart failure and other complications. Each person's experience with this condition is unique, requiring an individualized plan of care. Palos Health's Atrial Fibrillation & Arrhythmia Clinic offers a multi-disciplinary approach to care including screening, management, education and treatment.

Screening

Common risk factors for AFib include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, heart disease, lung disease, age greater than 50, obesity and sleep apnea. Screening for AFib is performed by obtaining an electrocardiogram (EKG), which involves attaching small pads known as electrodes to the skin to take a brief measurement of the heart's rhythm. A provider will then analyze the results for the presence of AFib. Risk assessment and treatment options will be discussed as needed.

Education

Palos provides AFib patients with needed information on their condition in order to promote optimal health. Some of these resources include:

  • Anticoagulation education
  • Risk factor modification
  • Diet and nutrition counseling
  • Smoking cessation counseling

Treatment

Treatment of AFib involves resetting the heart rate/rhythm which can help prevent blood clots from forming, decreasing the risk of stroke. Clinic patients receive treatment from cardiologists specializing in electrophysiology as well as other health care providers, such as a cardiothoracic surgeon, to create an individualized care plan that may include one or more of the following:

Cardioversion -  This medical procedure restores normal heart rhythm either through electricity or drugs.

Medication - Physicians can prescribe drugs to control heart rate and/or prevent blood clots that may lead to stroke.

Catheter Ablation - Catheters are used to create small scars on the heart that prevent abnormal electrical activity from moving through.

Maze - Surgical scarring is created to interfere with the stray electrical impulses that cause AFib.

Watchman - An alternative for people who can't take blood thinners and don't have a valve problem, this implanted device helps to reduce the risk of stroke.

The Atrial Fibrillation & Arrhythmia Clinic is located at Palos Hospital. Patients can make an appointment by calling 708.923.5460.