No, there aint no cure for AFib, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need. I know that’s a bad sample of the song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, but it’s true.
I would call what I have paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF or just AF); sudden, irregular, infrequent episodes of AF. Since I was in the hospital, I’ve felt that I may not be able to get back to the way I was at 20 years old, but I should be able to reverse some of the effects on my body that I put there by poor lifestyle. In the hospital I was given two choices (the third was do nothing): drugs and/or ablation. I didn’t want either. I’ve always been a believer that lifestyle is a major factor in our health.
I opted for the drugs because they started them in the hospital, and they may have been why the AF episode stopped; I see them like aspirin “stops” a headache – it may or may not go away on its own. The other option – ablation – is an out patient surgical procedure to try and burn the electrical spots on the heart that cause AF in the first place. That sounds a little scary. Again, lifestyle first, drugs second, surgery third.
My cardiologist (I can’t believe I’m saying that at age 44) was the one that gave me the options. He also said he would not be the one to do the ablation. Ablations are done by a cardiac electrophysiologist.
Dr. John Mandrola, a cardiac electrophysiologist in Louisville, Kentucky, had this to say about ablation:
In the short-term, I use temporizing measures to relieve AF symptoms: drugs for rate control, anticoagulants for stroke prevention, and maybe even cardioversion with or without anti-arrhythmic drugs. The key is that these treatments are temporary. We aren’t shocking or medicating an AF patient with the idea that this is the fix; we are doing those things to buy time for risk factor management to work. And it does. I’ve seen it work. Source: www.drjohnm.org “A cautionary note on AF ablation in 2015” taken September 29, 2015.