Treatment options for AF

Treatment options for AF

AF can be treated with medication or ablation

Medication include potent anticoagulation therapy to stop the blood from clotting, and medication to regulate heart rhythm and heart speed. If the latter two options do not control heart rhythm effectively, catheter ablation are the best available options.


One method of treating arrhythmias is to destroy the cells that are causing the heart to beat irregularly using a catheter placed in specific locations inside the heart. This is called catheter ablation. Radiofrequency energy is the most common energy source used to eliminate the abnormal heart beats.

As a precursor to treating the arrhythmia, the physician creates an electrical road map of the inside of the heart to help guide the placement of the ablation catheter. This road map is created by placing a catheter that records electrical signals from various locations in the heart. This catheter is called a mapping catheter.

The most important element in the mapping and ablation phase is to place the catheters in the correct location of the heart so that an accurate map is created and only the abnormal tissue is destroyed.

The catheter ablation options are:

  • Cryoballoon ablation (and other one-shot ablations)  and
  • Radiofrequency ablation