Heart rhythm and AFib care in Chicagoland
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 Illinois. Your doctor may also connect you to an electrophysiologist. Electrophysiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating heart rhythm problems, including atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common arrhythmia, in which your heartbeat is irregular, either too fast (palpitations) or too slow. Other symptoms may include chest pain, sweating, fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakness. To help understand the cause of your irregular heartbeat, your doctor starts by asking clarifying questions and listening to you.
Your doctor may also recommend a series of diagnostic tests. EKGs, stress tests and blood tests are used to help detect heart rhythm and other cardiovascular problems. 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, ablation or a pacemaker.
Getting the right care can help prevent heart failure
AFib may come and go and 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 Illinois are part of a national team of doctors, sharing best practices and advanced treatment options, including:
- Catheter ablation
- Cryoablation and no-radiation ablation
- Cryoballoon technology
- Electrical cardioversion
- Heart surgery
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICDs)
- Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) /WATCHMAN™
- Pulmonary vein isolation ablation
Your multidisciplinary cardiovascular team provides comprehensive evaluations and treatment plans to help improve your outcome and recovery. From medication to device implants, your doctor will use minimally invasive options whenever possible. Minimally invasive procedures may help shorten your recovery time and lower your risk of infection.
WATCHMAN device to help treat AFib
If you have AFib, you may be at risk for developing blood clots. Those clots can travel through your arteries to your brain and cause a stroke. If your AFib is not caused by valve damage or disease, our cardiologists and electrophysiologists may recommend the WATCHMAN device to help close off your left atrial appendage (LAA). When implanted, the quarter-sized device acts as a barrier to prevent blood clots from leaving your LAA and entering your bloodstream.
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 Illinois. 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.
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 Illinois, 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 rehabilitation and helping manage your medications to make sure they are working well for you.