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Final part of our review of Atrial Fibrillation Treatment - this week - others options to consider if standard practice treatments are ineffective

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Atrial fibrillation Treatment Part 3


Other options to maintain sinus rhythm


Other options may be considered if cardioversion or anti-arrhythmic drugs are not successful or if side effects from medication are a problem


Cardiac Ablation

Cardiac ablation involves the using small burns or freezes to create scarring on the inside of the heart to prevent conduction of abnormal electrical signals travelling from the atria to the ventricles. An ablation involves inserting and threading a small catheter via blood vessels in the groin to the heart either to administer small burns to heart tissue using radiofrequency energy or freezing to specific areas of heart tissue (micro ablation). Risks from cardiac ablation include blood vessel damage, heart valve damage and blood clot risk. Major complications from ablation occur in 6% of ablation procedures which why it is reserved for more persistent cases. Cardiac ablation is more successful in the management of paroxysmal AF with more recent guidelines pointing to the benefits of cardiac ablation in managing paroxysmal AF. 40% of AF patients have co-existing congestive cardiac failure (CHF) and cardiac ablation gives good treatment outcomes when compared to other treatment options when AF coexists with CHF. The efficacy of ablation techniques continues to improve meaning the threshold for when ablation continues to fall meaning it is likely to be used more to treat AF in the future as success rates and complications fall.



Clinical evidence rarely supports the use of a pacemaker for AF, however when bradycardia is an issue as part of AF, it may be considered if other treatments fail.


Booster Vaccine

If you have atrial fibrillation, you may be at more risk from COVID-19. Ask your doctor if you are eligible for the second Covid 19 booster. Whelehans Pharmacy Pearse St have a weekly walk-in clinic for Covid-19 boosters. Call 0449334591 for more.


BPro Cardio Screen Service

Measures artery stiffness to identify risk of blockages and cardiovascular and circulatory disease. BPRo is placed like a watch on your wrist and is pain free. A pulse wave reads and calculates a wave signal that indicates the elasticity of large, small, and peripheral artery walls as well as tests for stress, central blood pressure, heart rate, and more. It is now €35 (was €50); it only takes about 15 minutes. The next clinic is Saturday October 29th (from 9am to 5pm) at Whelehans Pearse St. Book online on Whelehans Website or call Whelehans at 04493 34591.

Disclaimer: BPro Cardio is not an alternative to medical assessment; it can indicate risk of cardiovascular events but is not a diagnosis

For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore) or

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