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