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Advanced Treatment for Irregular Heart Beats

Atrial fibrillation, or " A-Fib," is an irregular, frequently rapid heart beat originating in the atria (top chambers of the heart). Instead of the normal situation in which a single impulse travels in an orderly fashion through the heart, in atrial fibrillation many impulses begin simultaneously and spread through the atria, causing a rapid and disorganized heartbeat.

Three physicians stand next to a sign reading, "New York Methodist- Cornell Heart Center."

Cardiac Ablation

NYM offers cardiac ablation to find and treat defective tissue of the heart that causes abnormal heart beats. This is achieved with minimal pain or intrusion to the body, using electromagnetic energy and ablation to stimulate the heart in our advanced electrophysiology laboratory.

Atrial Fibrillation Surgery

In cases in which cardiac ablation is not a possibility or is not effective, surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation may be considered. Surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation also may be considered when surgery is needed to treat a coexisting heart condition, such as valve or coronary artery disease. New York Methodist surgeons use the Maze procedure to treat atrial fibrillation by interrupting the electrical impulses that cause the abnormal rhythm.

Advanced Hybrid Ablation

New York Methodist Hospital cardiac surgeons and cardiologists offer a new hybrid ablation (scar-tissue forming) technique that can help patients with the most persistent atrial fibrillation  to recover a regular rhythm of the heart. Whereas normal heart tissue is able to conduct electrical impulses—even if that tissue is the source of the heart's electrical malfunction—scar tissue cannot. This is why precise ablation of certain epicardial (exterior) and endocardial (interior) heart tissue can create a new, working electrical pathway.

Depending on the individual, a wide range of effective treatment options are available for A-fib, including medication, electrophysiology and surgery. However, for those whose A-fib has persisted despite these approaches, hybrid ablation techniques combine the most beneficial aspects of both cardiac surgery and electrophysiology into a single, minimally invasive procedure. The collaboration of the two disciplines allows specialists to address electrical malfunctions on both the outside and inside of the heart. The minimally invasive approach allows patients to undergo a complex heart procedure and usually leave the Hospital within 72 hours.

Click here to find a physician affiliated with the Institute for Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery or call 866.84.HEART (866.844.3278).

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