Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Atrial Fibrillation Treatment
Accurate diagnosis is an important first step before atrial fibrillation treatment. Your cardiologist needs to determine if a specific event or an underlying condition, such as a thyroid disorder, triggered your atrial fibrillation. If the triggering condition can be treated, you might not experience atrial fibrillation again.
Generally, atrial fibrillation treatment focuses on resetting your heart's rhythm or controlling its rate and preventing blood clots.
Atrial Fibrillation Treatment in Burlington, VT
The results of your diagnostic testing and other factors determine the course of action your team of physicians recommends.
Atrial fibrillation treatment options at Fletcher Allen include:
Cardioversion for Atrial Fibrillation
Cardioversion is a procedure that attempts to reset your heart to its regular rhythm or tries to get the heartbeat back to normal. Cardioversion can be performed one of two ways:
- Anti-Arrhythmic Medications
Your cardiologist may prescribe either intravenous and/or oral medications. Intravenous medication is given at Fletcher Allen while your heart rate is continuously monitored. If the intravenous medication resets your heart rhythm, then the same medication may be prescribed in oral form to prevent further atrial fibrillation.
- Electrical Cardioversion
You are sedated while you're given a brief electric shock to try and get your heartbeat back to normal.
Medications for Atrial Fibrillation
If anti-arrhythmic medications do not work to get your heart rhythm back to normal, your cardiologist may prescribe other medications to slow or control your heart rate. An example is digoxin (Lanoxin). Other additional or alternative medications include calcium channel blockers, beta blockers or blood pressure lowering medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
Atrioventricular (AV) Node Ablation
This procedure destroys the AV node, which then blocks signals or impulses to the lower heart chambers (ventricles). After this procedure, you will need a permanent pacemaker to regulate your heart rhythm.
Ablation destroys small areas of the heart to create scar tissue. The scar tissue blocks or destroys the areas that are causing the abnormal heart rhythm.
This procedure is usually done during open-heart surgery. It creates scar tissue that blocks extra electrical impulses from traveling through your heart
Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-9675.