Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

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What Type of Afib Do You Have??

This type of afib is where most patients begin – they go to the doctor to find out what is going on.  The symptoms are usually not understood by the patient at this point and testing is started.

Paroxysmal Afib is recurrent and self terminating – meaning the afib stops on its own without medication, cardioversion or other medical intervention.  This type of Atrial Fibrillation can be difficult to diagnose because afib has to occur for an EKG heart monitor to document the occurrence.   This is a dangerous time for the afib sufferer, who does not yet realize how dangerous the condition can be – Afib is a major cause of life altering or even fatal strokes.  Anti-coagulation therapy should be considered immediately to lessen the stoke risk.

This Paroxysmal stage of afib may be treatable with medications or electro shock therapy (cardioversion) at this point.

The goal is always to return the patient to normal sinus rhythm – normal heart function.  Every effort is used to determine the underlying cause or causes for the afib and fix them.

For this type of AF, irregular electrical impulses are thought to start in the pulmonary veins, making surgical pulmonary vein  isolation by ablation an effective treatment option if medication and cardioversion fail to fix the problem.

The saying is “afib begets afib” so stopping the process in the early paroxysmal stage is very important to avoid further progression into chronic or permanent afib.

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