Continued Atrial Fibrillation Therapy

Although there are treatments for atrial fibrillation there is no "Cure". Unlike most other abnormal rhythms that we treat, the reason why we may continue to have atrial fibrillation is more complex and may require ongoing monitoring and potential therapies. "Link to Treatment Options" The hallmark of treatment should be the need for blood thinners. If for some reason blood thinners cannot be used then there should be a way to monitor for recurrence of atrial fibrillation with monitoring and potential other modalities which involve a closure device. There are three different methods that we can potentially close off the area that may cause a clot and therefore there would be no need for blood thinners.

For patients that are on medications to prevent recurrence of atrial fibrillation, monitoring for side effects should be an ongoing process and would require continued consultation with an electrophysiologist experienced at these varied treatment options.

For patients who have undergone an ablation without any other medications, it may not be necessary for routine follow up with an electrophysiologist. However, there must be continued monitoring life long for recurrence of atrial fibrillation given that procedure success rates are not 100%.

All patients should have continued monitoring for their blood thinner medication. For patients on warfarin, an international normalized ratio should be checked at regular intervals to assess adequacy of control of warfarin dosing. If patients are on novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs), then monitoring of kidney function should be performed annually. This can be performed by your cardiologist or primary care doctor.

Exercise in moderation is encouraged and yoga has been shown to decrease recurrence of atrial fibrillation. Sleep apnea should be treated as well.