Any irregularity in your heart's natural rhythm is called an arrhythmia. Arrhythmias are usually treated first with medicines. Other treatments may include:


Ablation procedures may cure your atrial fibrillation by scarring or destroying tissue in your heart that triggers an abnormal heart rhythm. During the procedure, the surgeon may make a number of small incisions in both of your heart's upper chambers. The incisions are made in a certain pattern, like a maze, that will direct your heart's electrical impulses straight to the heart's lower chambers.

Instead of making cuts, the surgeon may choose to use cryoablation, which uses extreme cold to freeze small areas of heart tissue. Additionally, radiofrequency, microwave, laser and/or ultrasound, all of which use heat energy, may be used to make the incisions. Ablation procedures work because after your heart heals, scar tissue forms. Scar tissue cannot carry (conduct) electrical impulses, so the scar tissue that forms around the incisions keeps the electrical impulses on course.

Left Atrial Exclusion

Left Atrial Exclusion consists of excluding or closing the left atrial appendage, which is a normal outpouching of the atria, which may collect blood clots caused by atrial fibrillation. The surgeon does this by suturing the left atria closed or applying a clip to it, which prevents blood clots from entering your circulation and potentially causing a stroke.

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