The AFib Center of Doylestown Health
The AFib Center of Doylestown Health’s Richard A. Reif Heart Institute is a one-stop resource with invaluable information about degenerative heart rhythm disorder, heart disorder symptoms, and atrial fibrillation treatment options available to you right in Bucks County.
What treatment options are available at the Heart Institute?
The AFib Center offers innovative treatment options to control and eliminate atrial fibrillation in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The Center draws upon the top-rated expertise and resources of the Heart Institute to offer a broad range of individually tailored therapies. These range from lifestyle management and medication to state-of-the-art treatment options such as radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation and convergent ablation procedures.
Our cardiac specialists
Searching for the area's best cardiac specialists treating atrial fibrillation? Look no further than the AFib Center of Doylestown Health’s Reif Heart Institute.
Cardiologists specializing in electrophysiology for AFib care
Cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in AFib care
The experience of our AFib team provides Bucks, Montgomery and surrounding areas access to specialized care and treatment for complex cases close to home. Our AFib ablation success rates place us among the leading AFib centers across the United States.
About the Heart Institute
Doylestown Health’s Reif Heart Institute is ranked #1 in Pennsylvania and #6 in the United States for 30-day heart attack survival, as reported by the federal government. Patients experiencing a heart attack are more likely to survive at Doylestown Hospital than any other hospital in Pennsylvania. For the third year in a row, Doylestown's outcomes place the hospital in the upper echelon of quality care providers.
FAQs about atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). When the electrical pulses that power the heart fail to travel through the atria (the upper chambers of the heart), multiple impulses spread simultaneously, causing a fast, chaotic rhythm. As a result, the atria cannot contract or squeeze blood effectively into the ventricle, which in turn causes a rapid, irregular heartbeat.
The frequency or type of arrhythmia is not the same for all who have AFib. For many, a heart arrhythmia can occur at varying intervals, rather than consistently or constantly.
Symptoms of AFib include heart palpitations, abnormal heart rhythm, chest pain or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness and fatigue.
The impact atrial fibrillation has on your life is determined by the type of AFib that you have. For some people, the symptoms of AFib are temporary (also known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation). Others may be diagnosed with a more persistent heart arrhythmia. With treatment, you can live an active, healthy life. However, based on your condition, you may be at risk of serious complications associated with AFib, especially if it is not managed or treated properly.
If left untreated, atrial fibrillation increases your risk for stroke, heart disease or heart failure. The risk of stroke is five times greater for individuals with atrial fibrillation. Therefore, heart attack and stroke prevention for AFib is an important consideration when weighing therapeutic options.
The Heart Institute brings advanced atrial fibrillation treatment options to the community and beyond. Treatment options for atrial fibrillation may include:
Lifestyle Changes and Medications: The least invasive options for treatment of atrial fibrillation include lifestyle management and medication to control the arrhythmia.
Ablations and Other Procedures: Ablation therapy uses radiofrequency waves on the heart to treat a variety of cardiac arrhythmias. Depending on the severity of one's AFib, other advanced ablation procedures may be used such as convergent ablation (see Surgical Treatment) or cryoablation.
Cryoablation is a heart ablation procedure used to treat some forms of AFib. This procedure uses a freezing agent rather than heat to create lesions that block irregular electrical signals to the heart. In contrast to a heat ablation procedure, the frozen balloon used in cryoablation creates a full circle of lesions to ensure that the heart's electrical signals are less likely to break through to the atria.
Device Therapy - Pacemakers and Defibrillators: Resynchronization therapies may be used for high-risk patients; these include pacemakers and ICD for heart procedure (implantable cardioverter defibrillators).
Surgical Treatment: Sometimes, advanced forms of AFib do not respond to other therapies, and treatment requires additional interventions that may include surgery.
Convergent ablation is an innovative team approach in which an experienced cardiothoracic surgeon delivers energy to the heart from the outside while an electrophysiologist delivers energy to the inner areas of the heart.