AF Ablation Update 2019

Most years I write an update on any big developments in AF ablation. This year’s version will be a short one. I have little new to report. But it’s worth reviewing some basic issues. We still do not know the cause of atrial fibrillation (AF). That makes it hard to fix with ablation. Knowledge Deficits:… Continue reading AF Ablation Update 2019

AF Ablation is Overused in the US

A colleague recently asked me if atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation was overused. Yes it is. AF ablation has become the wild west of electrophysiology. There is essentially no scrutiny of this invasive, expensive and risky procedure. I also include here the add-on “maze-like” procedures done during heart surgery for other conditions. I believe they too… Continue reading AF Ablation is Overused in the US

Four commonly asked questions on AF ablation

I receive a lot of emails from people afflicted with atrial fibrillation. It is humbling that another person would share such highly personal information with me, a stranger. Thanks for that. It goes without saying that I cannot give specific medical advice. Though it is tempting. I’ll read a detailed story and think to myself…OMG,… Continue reading Four commonly asked questions on AF ablation

Answering the critics of atrial fibrillation ablation

In the gratifying category, few things rank higher than vanquishing atrial fibrillation with catheter ablation. But yet, not everyone thinks so highly of a procedure that has come to dominate my medical career. Dr Rita Redberg, influential cardiologist and editor of the JAMA Internal Medicine “Less is More” series, said this about ablating AF: “Because… Continue reading Answering the critics of atrial fibrillation ablation

Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation — New Trials and Fibrillation post up at theHeart.org

The treatment of atrial fibrillation continues to encompass a greater percentage of my practice. Sometimes I feel less like a cardiologist and more like an afib-ologist. The persistently rapid growth of this disease in our population boggles my mind. Really folks, this is not hyperbole; this is fact. Like all things cardiac, the focus is… Continue reading Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation — New Trials and Fibrillation post up at theHeart.org

Surgical versus Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

AF News Flash: Heart surgeons are on the case! An important trial comparing catheter ablation to surgical ablation for AF was reported at last month’s AHA meeting. The surgical ablation arm of the FAST trial used the newly-approved Atricure Synergy Ablation System. And onward goes the collegial tussle between heart doctors and heart surgeons. Before… Continue reading Surgical versus Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

Laser energy: a new tool for AF-ablation?

Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation continues to ascend into the mainstream. The treasure of eliminating AF [symptoms] without taking pills stokes the demand for a fix. People like fixes. Technological advances in catheters and mapping systems along with the formation of neural pathways (skills) in ablationists have fueled the growth of AF ablation. The epidemic… Continue reading Laser energy: a new tool for AF-ablation?

CW: Treating atrial fibrillation in athletes: Tough choices

The number of emails that come from fellow cyclists (and endurance athletes) with heart rhythm issues amazes me. I am more convinced than ever that our “hobby” predisposes us to electrical issues like atrial fibrillation (AF)—that the science is right. Obviously, my pedaling “habit” creates an exposure bias. I hear from many of you because… Continue reading CW: Treating atrial fibrillation in athletes: Tough choices

The best tool for treating atrial fibrillation

Today, I would like to tell you about the most effective way to treat the most common heart ailment, atrial fibrillation (AF). It’s not the novel anticoagulant drugs. Though it’s obvious that having stroke prevention options other than warfarin represents a significant advance. It’s not burning the left atrium with an ablation catheter. Though it’s… Continue reading The best tool for treating atrial fibrillation

AF Ablation: A review of three interesting studies…some real data.

In treating atrial fibrillation (AF), this year has witnessed some real excitement.  And not all the good news has to do with new pills. Recently, there has been a flurry of encouraging and objective news on ablating AF. Here are some comments on three notable studies that address three important questions: What are the ‘long-term’… Continue reading AF Ablation: A review of three interesting studies…some real data.

AF Ablation: A late-2010 update…Important progress

In atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, things are changing for the better. And good news makes for good blog posts. How do I know times are changing? Because I heard an EP nurse say something stunning–a sign of a new era in electrophysiology. Recently, during an incredibly difficult PVC ablation, she whispered cautiously to herself, “I’d rather… Continue reading AF Ablation: A late-2010 update…Important progress