AFib Center of Excellence

Find Solutions for Your “Fluttery Heart” at Our AFib Center of Excellence

Every day, Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast patients who experience the random and anxiety-inducing symptoms of atrial fibrillation—also described as a “fluttery heart”—find cardiac expertise, reassurance, and an array of innovative, personalized solutions at the AFib Center of Excellence.

Associated with the Robson Heart and Value Institute at Jupiter Medical Center, the AFib center’s specialists are experienced in a wide range of pharmaceutical, minimally invasive and surgical options designed to treat and calm your irregular heartbeat. Their goal: reduce your risk of stroke, return to heart to normal pulses and reduce your anxiety over a heart that seems out of control.

AFib? You’re One of 2 million Americans With This Condition

AFib is the most common heart rhythm abnormality, and it is more likely to be diagnosed in in people over 60.

It occurs when the heart’s upper left and right chambers — the atria — beat irregularly. Instead of the consistent “lub-dub” beating of a normal healthy heart, AFib beats will be too fast, too slow, or irregular, as if the heart is skipping beats or “fluttering” out of control. Your heartbeat might slow down, race rapidly, or do both.

Look for Common Symptoms, Then Call the AFib Center of Excellence

Besides an irregular heartbeat, other common symptoms of AFib include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue or general weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness/fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles or legs

Why is AFib worrisome? If blood is not pumped regularly through the heart, it can stagnate and form a clot inside the left atrium. If the clot breaks free, it can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

AFib has many causes. The most common types and causes:

  • Valvular Atrial Fibrillation is linked to an abnormal heart valve that is either blocked or leaks blood into the heart. This type of AFib is particularly common in people who have underlying mitral valve disease.
  • Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation is usually associated with underlying health or lifestyle issues. Common risk factors include high blood pressure, advanced age, obesity, tobacco abuse, alcohol intake, hyperthyroidism, obesity, ischemic heart disease or kidney disease.

An Accurate Diagnosis Leads to Targeted Treatment

If your doctor suspects that you have AFib, an electrocardiogram (EKG) will be done to provide an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, a Holter monitor, event recorder, mobile telemetry device or an implanted loop recorder may be necessary to verify the diagnosis. Your doctor might also schedule a blood test, stress test, CT scan or MRI.

Once the experienced Jupiter specialists have identified the cause of your irregular heartbeats, they will individualize your treatment program based on a range of traditional and innovative options. Medical, surgical, and minimally invasive interventions can return the heart to its normal rhythm and/or reduce your risk of stroke. Options can include:

  • Blood thinners as a first-line therapy to keep the blood from clotting (note: some patients cannot tolerate these medications)
  • Atrial fibrillation ablation , a minimally invasive technique in which tissue inside the heart is frozen (cryoablation) or burned (radiofrequency ablation) to halt the production of abnormal electrical signals inside the heart
  • The WATCHMAN® procedure to reduce the risk of stroke by sealing off a section of the left atrium where clots tend to form
  • Implantable devices to regulate the heartbeat
  • CONVERGE, or the Convergent Procedure, which uses radiofrequency to produce lesions or scar tissue inside the heart to block irregular electrical signs
  • The surgical Maze procedure to create a maze of scar tissue inside the heart to block abnormal electrical signals
  • Thorascopic left atrial appendage exclusion, a procedure in which a tiny clip implant isolates a section of the left atrium to halt abnormal electrical activity

Find experienced specialists, the latest technologies and treatments for AFib at the AFib Center of Excellence at the Robson Heart and Valve Institute at Jupiter Medical Center. Their expertise and focus on an individualized care plan for you can help improve the health of your heart and bring you peace of mind.