Current AF Treatment Options

There are a number of treatments available depending on the patient’s AF, all with varying success rates.

Cardioversion

Cardioversion (electric shock treatment) is combined with antiarrhythmic drugs. This treatment sees a failure in >60% of patients within 1 year.  There are also some possible side effects from the drugs including irreversible liver or lung fibrosis, thyroid problems, 1:1000 risk of sudden death because the drugs may cause additional heart rhythm problems.

Surgical Ablation

This includes an open chest called Thorascopic surgery.  The failure rates are at approximately 50%.  This is a traumatic procedure and invasive procedure requiring an extended hospital stay.

Catheter Ablation

Minimally invasive catheter ablation is a complex procedure which requires a highly specialised team. The procedure typically takes 3 to 4 hours. Complications can be found in 1-5% of patients-most self limiting or treatable. This procedure requires a short hospital stay (typically 1 night).

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