Heart rhythm and AFib care in Birmingham | Ascension
Black female doctor with stethoscope talking to older black patient afib care

Heart rhythm and AFib care in Birmingham

Give your heart the attention it deserves. Appointments are available with leading AFib specialists at Ascension St. Vincent's in Birmingham, Alabama.

When you notice a change in your heartbeat, such as a flutter or quiver in your chest, don’t delay. Start a conversation about your new symptoms with a cardiologist at Ascension St. Vincent’s. Your doctor may also connect you to an electrophysiologist. Electrophysiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of arrhythmia in which your heartbeat is irregular, either too fast or too slow. Other symptoms may include chest pain, sweating, fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakness. Your doctor starts by listening to understand you and uses diagnostic testing to help determine the cause of your irregular heartbeat.

Your doctor may recommend a series of tests. EKGs, stress tests and blood tests are used to help detect an irregular heartbeat. These tests help your doctor understand the cause of your irregular heartbeat. Then, your doctor works with you on a care plan that is right for you. Treatment may include medication, therapy or surgery.

Getting the right care can help prevent heart failure

AFib may come and go and can affect how your heart pumps blood through your body, increasing your risk for stroke and congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition that gets worse over time. Getting treatment sooner may help slow the progression and relieve symptoms. Cardiologists at Ascension St. Vincent’s are part of a national team of doctors, sharing best practices, and we provide advanced treatment options, including:

  • Catheter ablation
  • Cryoballoon technology
  • Defibrillator 
  • MitraClip™
  • Pacemakers
  • Pulmonary vein isolation ablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation WATCHMAN™
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

Sometimes, structural or heart valve damage can cause AFib. If surgery is recommended as part of your care plan, your doctor will use minimally invasive options whenever possible. Our heart surgeons specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques to help repair your heart valve, including TAVR, ablation and the WATCHMAN device. During a minimally invasive procedure, tiny incisions are made. Minimally invasive surgery may help shorten your recovery time and lower your risk of infection.

Get a second opinion for your AFib diagnosis or care plan

Get the confidence and peace of mind that your doctor and cardiovascular care plan for AFib are right for you. It's easy to get a second opinion at Ascension St. Vincent’s. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options for restoring or correcting your heart’s rhythm. Talk with one of our doctors about a personalized heart care plan.

When you are facing a new diagnosis or are deciding on a surgical or therapeutic treatment plan, there’s a lot to think about. If you are looking for a second opinion for advanced heart care, our cardiologists can also connect you with the right specialists for minimally invasive surgery, including WATCHMAN and ablation. Our heart and vascular specialists can provide a second opinion, based on our experience and as part of a national care team.

Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to find out if a second opinion is covered. We can request your medical records on your behalf, so that they can be shared with your care team before your arrival.

GET A SECOND OPINION

Heart care that focuses on the whole you

Your specialists and care team collaborate, working together for you and with you. Every appointment with your doctor starts with a conversation about any new symptoms, concerns or questions. At Ascension St. Vincent’s, your care team supports you before, during and after an AFib procedure to help you return to the regular daily activities you love. Your doctor works with you to monitor your heart health over time, including connecting you with cardiac rehab and helping manage your medications to make sure they are working well for you.