The goals of atrial fibrillation treatment
include reducing the symptoms and complications, with the aim of minimizing mortality rates and hospitalization. The type of treatment depends on the age of the patient, medical history, symptoms
, other medical conditions, and type of atrial fibrillation.
Treatment options include the following:
- Medications can be administered to:
- slow the heart rate (rate control)
- control the rhythm (rhythm control)
- reduce the risk of blood clots that form and cause blockage of vessel supply to any part of the body but especially the brain
- Electrical cardioversion is used to restore a normal rhythm to the heart immediately and is only used in urgent conditions. This procedure cannot prevent a recurrence of atrial fibrillation. A regular rhythm has to be maintained through either long-term medication or ablation.
- Radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation is used to eliminate the abnormal signals that cause atrial fibrillation. This procedure restores the normal heart rhythm immediately and prevents any recurrence of atrial fibrillation in the future.