AFib Patients Get Access to Advanced Care
Our heart doctors in the Birmingham area specialize in preventing stroke with non-surgical therapies and minimally invasive procedures.
St. Vincent's Treats AFib
Our doctors have the expertise to manage all types of heart rhythm disorders, including prescribing the right medication to reduce your risk of stroke or damage to your heart muscle. However, for some, taking medication may be difficult and even risky.
Treating AFib with Minimally Invasive Procedures
When the left atrial appendage (LAA) in the heart is damaged, blood can pool. Should a clot form and travel to the brain, a stroke can occur. For many patients, blood thinner medication can manage this condition but is also a lifetime commitment. We also treat heart patients who have AFib not caused by a heart valve condition, but need a non-drug alternative because they have problems with:
• Staying within the recommended blood clotting range
• Remembering to take your AFib medicine regularly
• Keeping regular blood test appointments
• Sticking to dietary restrictions, such as avoiding alcohol
• Handling side effects from the medication
If you have non-valvular AFib and cannot tolerate blood thinners, ask about an implantable device that can help keep potentially lethal blood clots from escaping the heart’s left atrial appendage.
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 heart rhythm disorder and then destroy the abnormal tissue causing it.
The Hybrid Convergent procedure offered on our Birmingham campus is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation (also called surgical ablation). The heart surgeon makes a small incision, and a tiny catheter uses high-intensity, focused ultrasound energy to create new electrical pathways in the heart.
Cryoballoon technology on our East campus enables our surgeons to expand the vein with a balloon and then with ablation (icy energy) to separate the muscle fibers that are causing the AFib problem.
Other specialized procedures include pulmonary vein isolation ablation and radiofrequency ablation.
Well-rounded Heart Care
There are other heart conditions besides atrial fibrillation that increase the risk of stroke:
• High blood pressure
• Narrowing of the blood vessels to the brain
St. Vincent’s Health System is a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care. This national designation recognizes us for providing fully integrated care to treat complex cardiovascular diseases.