Fax number (855) 807-4748

Atrial Fibrillation Specialist

Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates

Electrophysiology & Cardiology located in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Suncity, Dewey & Prescott Valley, AZ

At least 2.7 million Americans have a type of arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib or AF. Akash Makkar, MD, and Mohamad Abdelrahman, MD, at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates perform a variety of AFib treatments at seven convenient locations in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Sun City, Dewey, and Prescott Valley, Arizona. Without treatment, AFib can lead to serious complications like stroke and heart failure. Call the office nearest you or book an AFib consultation online today.

Atrial Fibrillation Q & A

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a common type of arrhythmia, which means it causes an irregular heartbeat. 

Normally, your heart beats at a steady interval. When you have AFib, the heart contracts and relaxes erratically, often leading to a quivering, rapid heartbeat.

Although AFib itself isn’t usually life-threatening, it can lead to medical emergencies like blood clots, strokes, and heart failure. Many effective treatments are available at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates to control your heart rhythm and prevent complications of AFib.

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

You can have AFib without having any symptoms. When AFib does cause symptoms, they may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced ability to exercise

If you don’t have symptoms, your primary care physician may discover AFib during a routine physical exam.

What are the risk factors for atrial fibrillation?

The likelihood of getting AFib increases with age. Other factors that may increase your risk for AFib include:

  • Hypertension
  • Moderate to heavy alcohol use
  • Heart disease, including heart valve problems
  • History of a heart attack
  • Recent heart surgery
  • Family history of AFib
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Obesity

These conditions involve damage to or dysfunction in the heart’s structure. However, some people get AFib without the presence of heart damage.

How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam. To confirm a diagnosis of AFib, they may take one or more in-office tests, such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram
  • Cardiac stress test
  • Electrophysiology study
  • Implantable loop recorder

They may also send you home with a portable Holter monitor or event monitor. A Holter monitor records the electrical activity of your heart for 24-48 hours. An event monitor is similar, but you wear it for a week to a month.

How is atrial fibrillation treated?

Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates creates an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Depending on the cause and severity of your AFib, treatment may include:

  • Medications to control your heart rhythm and rate
  • Blood-thinning medications to prevent clots and reduce the risk of stroke
  • Healthy lifestyle changes to reduce AFib risk factors
  • Cardioversion, which restores the normal heart rhythm with an electric shock
  • Catheter ablation, including radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation

Catheter ablation involves treating AFib with a long, thin tube that your provider inserts into a blood vessel and threads through until it reaches your heart.

To learn more about effective atrial fibrillation treatments, call Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates or book an appointment online today.