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Heart & Vascular

Atrial Fibrillation
Conditions and Services

Also known as Afib, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that increases your risk for stroke and heart disease. Atrial fibrillation can be caused by conditions that damage or strain the heart.

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Managing your aFib diagnosis — What to watch for every day.

Basic steps to take, say the cardiologists at St. Luke’s Heart and Vascular Center — the Lehigh Valley’s leader in heart valve repair, with the area’s leading experts in heart rhythm — include monitoring yourself for worsening symptoms... Read more.

If your heart is fluttering, it may not be because of your new romance.

Some people experience palpitations — a racing heartbeat, or a feeling of heavy, fast, irregular heartbeats. You may feel weak, or lightheaded, or dizzy. These feelings may be constant, or they may come and go. If these symptoms are not the result of a roller coaster ride, or an exciting new love, they are cause for concern, because these irregular heartbeats can indicate a condition known as atrial fibrillation, or AFib... Read more.

Here are three tips for preventing an aFib episode — and why they work.

That irregular heartbeat you have makes you five times more likely to have a stroke, according to the medical experts at St. Luke’s Heart and Vascular Center... Read more.

The Top Five Questions to Ask Your Cardiologist.

Perhaps you’re going to the cardiologist because your physician recommended it. Or maybe you have a family history of heart disease, and you want to stay on top of it. Or you have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, or both... Read more.

What Matters If You Have an Irregular Heartbeat?

Here’s the simple answer: people with irregular heartbeats are nearly five times more likely to have a stroke. The most common kind of irregular heartbeat is atrial fibrillation (AF, or AFib, for short). It’s a complicated name, but when you understand the definition, the name makes sense... Read more.

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Prevention

To manage or prevent Afib, follow a healthy lifestyle by taking these steps:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Maintain a healthy variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables daily.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes three times per week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice and take all medications as prescribed.

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Treatment Options

Afib symptoms and risks can be different for each patient. Your doctor will determine the right course of treatment depending on several factors. Treatments are aimed at helping you feel better and preventing future problems.

Afib treatment is available to control your heart rate, control your heart rhythm or prevent stroke. Treatment options include:

  • Medication management for heart rate control or rhythm control, also called antiarrhythmics.
  • Electrical Cardioversionto convert an abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm
  • Catheter ablation to correct an abnormal heart rhythm
  • Pacemaker Insertion
  • Cardio Defibrillator (ICD) Implantation
  • Maze procedure

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Exams and Tests

If Afib is suspected, your physician may listen to your heartbeat during a routine office visit. To diagnosis Afib however, other tests may provide more conclusive results. These include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Stress test or exercise electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO)
  • Holter event monitoring
  • Blood test to test for hyperthyroidism or for Prothrombin time

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