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  • Lifestyle Modification

    Research indicates that controlling the risk factors for atrial fibrillation can help with treatment: 

    • Obesity: If weight management is an issue, we refer you to a dietician and when appropriate, to our Wellness Center for Fitness assessment and an exercise prescription.
    • Diabetes: If diabetes is not well-controlled, you may work with a Patients with Diabetes out of control may be referred to a diabetes specialist
    • Sleep Apnea: If you are at risk, you may work with a sleep medicine specialist.
    • Hypertension: Often your primary care physician can help regulate your high blood pressure, but specialty cardiologists are available if you need more help. 
    • Excessive alcohol consumption: Reducing or eliminating alcoholic drinks can have a positive effect on atrial fibrillation.

    When lifestyle changes are notinsufficient, we individualize treatment according to the type of atrial fibrillation, impact on your lifestyle and personal preferences.

  • Medication

    For some patients, medication can control both heart rate and rhythm. If you have problem tolerating on-going medication for atrial fibrillation, an approach called “Pill in the Pocket”, in which you take the medication only when you are having a run of symptomatic atrial fibrillation to shorten the duration of the attack. However, because sometimes you can’t tell if you are having atrial fibrillation, that approach may not be appropriate. 

  • Catheter ablation (non-surgical)

    Uses radio frequency (heat) or cryotherapy (freezing) to interrupt the pathways that cause atrial fibrillation 

  • Hybrid/MAZE procedure for atrial fibrillation

    This is a minimally invasive surgery performed through an incision below the breastbone. This is often performed along with catheter ablation in patients with difficult to control AFIB, who may have had prior ablations.

  • MAZE Procedure

    In patients undergoing other open-heart surgeries such as coronary bypass or surgery to repair leaky or narrowed heart valves, a surgical MAZE procedure can be done during the same operative session if your atrial fibrillation requires treatment.

  • Re-ablation of Arrhythmias related to prior AFIB catheter ablation

    Scar tissue from a prior catheter ablation can actually cause newatrial arrhythmias months or years later. Our techniques for catheter ablation for AFIB   minimize occurrences of new arrhythmias. However, if patients had prior AFIB ablations with occurrences of new atrial arrhythmias, we have experience in treating these patients in what is considered a difficult procedure.

  • Stroke Prevention

    Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to pool in the left upper chamber of the heart, an area called the left atrial appendage (LAA). That pooling can cause the blood to clot and get into the blood stream, potentially causing a stroke. If you have AFIB and are considered at risk for strokes, you may need medication to thin your blood and prevent blood clots. If you cannot take anticoagulants due to severe bleeding problems, we offer a minimally invasive surgical technique to tie off the LAA to lower your risk of a stroke.

  • Ventricular tachycardia/Premature Ventricular Contractions


  • Implantable defibrillator

    Ventricular tachycardia is a serious arrhythmia that in some patients causes rapid palpitations, in others, loss of consciousness. For some patients, VT can lead to ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death. For those patients at risk for sudden cardiac death, we recommend an implantable defibrillator.

    For all patients, we do a comprehensive assessment of their overall cardiac and coronary function and structure. We try to identify a precipitating cause of their ventricular tachycardia or PVCs and treat any underlying condition that may be a causative factor. Depending on the individual, if the VT or PVCs persist, we may then recommend drug therapy, catheter ablation or implantable defibrillator, or a combination thereof.

  • Cardiac drug or ablation therapy

    PVCs are extra premature beats that originate from the bottom chambers causing a premature contraction. While you may have no symptoms, you could also have intolerable palpitations, fatigue or shortness of breath. An excessive number of PVCs can lead to deterioration of heart function and congestive heart failure. Sometimes, treatment by drugs or ablation can be beneficial. 

  • Cardiac Pacemakers/Defibrillators/Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

    Implantable pacemakers or defibrillators may help restore normal rhythm and prevent sudden death. 


In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for stroke may include the following:

  • Genetic testing

    Genetic tests may help determine the genetic causes of many inherited cardiac diseases. Your doctor may recommend echocardiography on a regular basis for family members with an identified variant. Our genetic heart disease program has experts who can interpret the complex tests required to identify inherited heart rhythm disorders such as the long QT and Brugada syndromes.

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram

    In this test, a device (transducer) is pressed firmly against your skin and aims an ultrasound beam through your chest to your heart, producing moving images of the working of the heart.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

    Wires (electrodes) attached to adhesive pads on your skin measure electrical impulses from your heart. An ECG can detect enlarged chambers of your heart and abnormal heart rhythms.

  • Treadmill stress test

    Your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored while you walk on a treadmill so your doctor may evaluate symptoms, determine your exercise capacity, and determine if exercise provokes abnormal heart rhythms. Treadmill stress tests are sometimes performed with echocardiography. 

  • Tilt table test

    If you’ve had fainting or near fainting spells, your doctor may recommend this test that monitors your heart rate and blood pressure as you lie flat on a table and then how they respond when the table is tilted to standing position.

  • Electrophysiological testing (EP) and mapping

    In this test, doctors thread thin, flexible tubes (catheters) tipped with electrodes through your blood vessels to a variety of spots within your heart. Once in place, the electrodes can map the spread of electrical impulses through your heart.

  • Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam

    A cardiac MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of your heart, and is often used in addition to echocardiography to create a more precise diagnosis.

  • Ambulatory Monitoring

    This test records the brain's electrical response to visual, auditory, and sensory stimuli.

    • Holter Monitor for one to two days of monitoring: This monitor is used to obtain a snapshot of your heart rhythm when you are experiencing daily symptoms.
    • One to two-week Ambulatory Monitor: This gives us heart rhythm information when longer duration is required to capture intermittent symptoms.
    • Two to Four Week Event Monitor: This type of monitor records information onlywhen patients are symptomatic or when the monitor’s algorithm detects an abnormal rhythm over an extended period.
    • Implantable Monitor: This monitor may be used when there is a need for longer term monitoring of up to three years. The monitor is implanted in a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, inserted under the skin in the left chest under local anesthesia. It may be recommended if you have passed out, have a history of stroke or mini-stroke, where AFIB is suspected, or for other indications requiring longer term monitoring.