Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat, occurring when the two top chambers of the heart (atria) beat out of rhythm with the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles). If left untreated, this type of rapid, chaotic heartbeat can stretch and weaken the heart muscle. Atrial fibrillation also may restrict blood flow to other parts of the body, increasing the risk for strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. Although it is a serious medical condition, most people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation can lead healthy, active lives. Treatments may include a combination of lifestyle changes and medication, and in some cases surgery or a pacemaker may be required.
Watch animation of cathether ablation procedure
UAB Cardiovascular Institute delivers optimal patient care for heart rhythm disorders. You will be cared for by regional and world leaders in the treatment of heart arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia, and other heart rhythm abnormalities.
Our physicians evaluate the newest treatments and technologies and author professional publications that advance the field of arrhythmia treatment. Their extensive experience and academic backgrounds ensure that they are familiar with all types of heart rhythm disorders. Our academic medical center performs more than 600 heart rhythm-related procedures each year, and our success in treating all types of complex arrhythmias is well-documented. Our electrophysiologists have access to the UAB Cardiovascular Institute, one of the largest of its kind in the Southeast. It features the most advanced technology available, including four procedural suites dedicated to electrophysiology (the electrical signals in the heart). At UAB Medicine you are part of a program that carries out pioneering work in atrial fibrillation and advanced pacemaker and cardioverter defibrillator design.
Understand the risk factors and symptoms of heart arrhythmias, and when it is important for you to see a doctor.
Arrhythmia Risk Factors, Symptoms, & Treatments
If you've ever felt your heart skip a beat, you may have an arrhythmia. Tom McElderry, MD, an arrhythmia specialist at UAB, talks to Daytime Alabama on WVTM-TV, Channel 13, in Birmingham, Ala., about the symptoms and risk factors of arrhythmia, and what to do if you or a loved one experiences this condition.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
Joint Commission awards ventricular device certification to UAB Cardiovascular Institute
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UAB’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit has been Awarded the Beacon Award for Excellence by AACN