What Type of Surgery Can I Use to Treat My AFib?

Q: I have AFib which disturbs me a lot. I’ve been thinking that I may have a surgery to treat it or even cure it. Which one should I choose?

A: First of all, change your lifestyle, such as quitting smoking and developing a heart-healthy diet. If lifestyle changes and medications aren’t enough, surgeries are usually recommended to treat severe AFib. Bascially, there are two types of surgeries for you to choose.

Ablation surgeries

There are different types of surgeries for you to choose. It depends on the exact part of heart that goes wrong and how frequent your AFib occurs.

This type of surgery usually takes two hours. During the procedure, a catheter will be inserted in your body through a vein in your neck or groin, and will be threaded to your atrium and ventricles. There is an electrode at its tip, which may create heat by emitting radio waves. The heat is used to destroy and scar a part of your heart tissue in order to cut misfiring electrical signals.

Radiofrequency ablation is the one that is used most. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), irregular heartbeats in over 90 percent of cases can be cured. Other types of ablation can also be used, including sonar, microwave, and cryoablation.

Maze procedure

Patients who have other heart conditions are likely to develop AFib. If you are going to have an open-heart surgery, such as coronary bypass surgery, AFib can be treated at the same time by the maze procedure. Just like catheter ablation, your heart’s electrical signals can’t cross among different chambers because of the scar. The signals will be rerouted and function normally.



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