Heart and Vascular Health

Specializing in AFib and Complex Arrhythmias

Our AFib Institute cardiac electrophysiologists specialize in minimally invasive procedures to reduce your risk of stroke and heart conditions.

Heart Doctors for AFib

Living with an abnormal heart rhythm does not have to be your reality. If your heart beats too fast, slow or is irregular, St. Vincent’s cardiologists and electrophysiologists specialize in treating all types of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (AFib). We strive to stay in the forefront of technology and offer a variety of treatments and procedures to both manage and cure these heart problems. Whether your abnormal heart rhythm started as a heart defect at birth or developed because of heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, at St. Vincent’s Cardiology we offer our patients many treatment options.

For more information about our AFIB services, call 904-308-2342.

Treating AFib to Reduce the Risk of Stroke

Our cardiologists treat the whole person and manage medications carefully, such as blood thinners to prevent stroke risk, and beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digoxin to help control an irregular heart rate. In the case of persistent AFib, a simple outpatient procedure, called cardioversion, can convert you back to normal heart rhythm. Our doctors also perform a variety of heart procedures such as AV Junction Ablation to implant a pacemaker and the Lariat procedure to reduce the risk of blood clots in the heart due to AFib.  

Lariat Procedure - St. Vincent's AFib Institute

We also specialize in many types of minimally invasive ablation procedures all associated with improved recovery times and outcomes. Catheter ablation uses high-frequency electrical impulses to stimulate the arrhythmia and then destroy the abnormal tissue causing it. For your convenience, we coordinate the diagnostic electrophysiologic study (EPS) and the catheter ablation procedure, so it’s all done on the same day, usually within four hours. Patients are monitored overnight in our cardiac recovery rooms.

A maze procedure is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation (also called surgical ablation). The heart surgeon makes a small incision and with a tiny catheter uses high-intensity, focused ultrasound energy to create new electrical pathways in the heart.

Cryoablation is a procedure that uses extremely cold energy to separate the muscle fibers that cause AFib. During this minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon navigates the catheter from your groin to the left atrium of the heart to the site of the problem.

Treating Complex AFib with Advanced Technologies

For the patient with complex AFib, St. Vincent’s is the first in Northeast Florida to offer convergent ablation (two ablation procedures done at the same time). The heart surgeon performs an ablation procedure on the outside of the heart and the electrophysiologist does a different ablation procedure on the inside of the heart. In most cases, only two days of recovery are needed in the hospital.

If you have non-valvular AFib and cannot tolerate blood thinners, a quarter-size device, called the WATCHMAN, may be an alternative treatment. It is implanted in the heart using a minimally invasive procedure. The WATCHMAN keeps potentially lethal blood clots from escaping the heart’s left atrial appendage.

We also treat severe heart rhythm disorders. When a patient needs more than a standard ablation procedure, we have rotor mapping. This advanced cardiac procedure uses 64 electrodes to map the heart’s electrical system. The specific rotors causing the irregular rhythm problem are identified and removed during the mapping procedure. Our patients benefit from experienced heart doctors who utilize the newest technologies to correct problems in the heart and lower your risk for more serious health issues.

To learn more, see heart and stroke care-related videos and blogs

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