After reviewing your health history and conducting a physician exam, the following tests may be performed to diagnose AFib.1
The standard test doctors use to diagnose AFib is an EKG, or electrocardiogram. This test uses painless electrodes placed on your chest that detect the electric currents that your heart uses to generate the rhythmic muscular contractions that pump blood through its chambers and out to your body.
Holter Monitor or Event Monitor
If AFib isn’t detected during an EKG, which generally lasts only a few minutes, you may need to wear a portable EKG monitor to get an accurate evaluation of your heart function over several days, weeks or months. There are two types of portable EKG devices: Holter monitors, which are used in instances where symptoms generally occur on a daily basis, and event monitors, which are used when symptoms are less frequent or predictable.
A standard stress test shows changes in your heart's electrical activity. This type of test is helpful to diagnose forms of AFib that occur mainly or frequently during times of increased physical activity or your doctor may be interested in seeing how your heart functions under stress and how your AFib symptoms are affected by physical activity.
If you are concerned that you might have AFib, schedule an appointment with an EP near you. Prepare for your appointment by downloading a list of questions to ask your doctor.
As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. Only a cardiologist or electrophysiologist can determine whether ablation is an appropriate course of treatment. There are potential risks including bleeding, swelling or bruising at the catheter insertion site, and infection. More serious complications are rare, which can include damage to the heart or blood vessels; blood clots (which may lead to stroke); heart attack, or death. These risks need to be discussed with your doctor and recovery takes time. The success of this procedure depends on many factors, including your physical condition and your body's ability to tolerate the procedure. Use care in the selection of your doctors and hospital, based on their skill and experience.
Take control today!Talk to a heart arrhythmia specialist aboutyour options.