Download your free Understanding Atrial Fibrillation guide

If you've been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and would like more detailed information on the symptoms, risks and treatment options, please download the FREE SSM Health Understanding Atrial Fibrillation guide.

Testing and Treatment Options

SSM Health specialists perform hundreds of pacemaker placements and cardiovascular defibrillator implants each year. They also provide the following diagnostic studies and treatment options for AFib:

Diagnostic Tests

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Echocardiogram (TEE or TTE)
  • Blood tests
  • Exercise tests
  • Chest X-rays
  • Cardiac electrophysiology - this study measures the electrical potential of the body, often by inserting a special catheter to record ongoing electrical activity of the heart.

Treatment Options

  • Treat underlying conditions, like overactive thyroid function or cardiac diseases
  • Medications - typically aspirin or wayfarin (Coumadin) to prevent blood clots
  • Electrical cardioversion - a jolt of electricity to the heart, either though paddles or wires
  • Ablation - which uses a catheter and radio waves to destroy small areas of cells in the heart thought to be the source of the electrical malfunction
  • Maze procedure - often requires open-heart surgery so the clinician can make small, precise cuts or catheter burns in specific areas of the atria
  • Pacemaker or cardiovascular defibrillator - either of these devices is placed inside the body to control heart rate and rhythm

Get an Appointment with an Expert

If you are ready to take the next step and discuss treatment options with an SSM Health Heart & Vascular Care cardiologist or electrophysiologist, contact our Structural Heart Clinic at 608-260-3484..