What Is Afib?

Treatment

Patient Stories

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Biosense Webster, Inc. invites you to learn more about your Afib treatment options

What is
Atrial fibrillation?

Afib is a disease that causes the upper chambers of the heart, or atria, to beat rapidly and in an uncontrolled manner.

This irregular beating of the heart affects blood flow and some patients experience a "fluttering" or hummingbird feeling in the chest.

Afib increases
your risk for stroke 5x

and is the leading cause of strokes in the U.S.

The likelihood of developing Afib increases with age and approximately 70% of patients are between the ages of 65 and 85.1

10%

30%

50%

70%

90%

An estimated 3 million people in the U.S. and 20 million worldwide are affected by Afib.2,3

In the next 30-40 years, the number of people diagnosed in the U.S. is expected to more than double.2,3

Afib can significantly impact quality of life for patients.

I felt exhausted all the time and often even need to take an afternoon nap – something that was not indicative of my usual energy level. It was really starting to impact my life and my love for mountain hiking. I knew I had to do something.

– Ken, 69

Quality of life can be significantly impacted by Afib symptoms, which include:

Anxiety
Difficulty exercising
Chronic Fatigue
Shortness of breath
Lightheadedness/dizziness
Debiliating pain
Weakness
Irregular, sometimes rapid heartbeat

The progression of Afib

Permanent
Longstanding
Persistent
Persistent
Paroxysmal

Afib may progress from paroxysmal (recurrent) to persistent (continuous) to longstanding persistent (persistent Afib that has lasted more than a year).4 It may eventually be classified as permanent Afib, a decision that is made between the doctor and patient, which means no further attempts will be made to convert the heart back to normal rhythm. Patients who progress to persistent Afib are difficult to treat and experience chronic symptoms.

Over 50% of patients with Afib either don’t respond to or cannot tolerate drug therapy.5

Treatment

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) all recommend catheter ablation for patients when medication proves to be unsuccessful.

Catheter Ablation

A minimally invasive procedure whereby a catheter is inserted through a vein and then weaved up to the heart. Controlled therapy is applied to targeted areas in the heart to address abnormal electrical signals.

Most recently contact force therapy has emerged as the most significant advancement in the treatment of Afib as it has demonstrated dramatically improved outcomes for patients. The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheter is the first contact force therapy available to U.S. patients and the only device in the world that can provide stability of contact force.6

Patient Stories

Sue H.

Sue was in the middle of a stressful move when she started to experience “episodes” of an irregular heart beat. She was diagnosed with anxiety, but it turned out to be Afib.

Ken S.

A retired executive running for political office, Ken thought his elevated fatigue was normal. He was diagnosed with Afib and sought an alternative treatment after three cardioversions offered only temporary relief.

Tim K.

Tim is a pilot who worried that his irregular heartbeat would end his career. Medication left him feeling tired and didn’t fully correct his Afib.

Whatever treatment option you decide on, it is important to seek medical attention for your Afib as the greater the severity, the harder it is to treat.

To find a doctor in your area that's right for you

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.

1. Fuster V, Rydén LE, Cannom DS, Crijns HJ, CurtisAB, Ellenbogen KA, Halperin JL, Kay GN, Le Heuzey J-Y, Lowe JE, Olsson SB, Prystowsky EN, Tamargo JL, Wann LS. 2011 ACCF/AHA/HRS focused updates incorporated into the ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57:e101–98.

2. Naccarelli GV, Varker H, Lin J, Schulman KL. Increasing prevalence of atrial fibrillation and flutter in the United States. Am J Cardiol.2009;104:1534-1539.

3. Lloyd-Jones D, Adams RJ, Brown TM, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2010 Update. A Report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation. 2010;121:e1-e170.Accessed August 15, 2012.

4. Carlo Pappone, MD, Andrea Radinovic, MD, Francesco Manguso, et al. Atrial fibrillation progression and management: A 5-year prospective follow-up study. Heart Rhythm 2008;5:1501–1507

5. Hugh Calkins, Matthew R. Reynolds, Peter Spector, et al. Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation With Antiarrhythmic Drugs or Radiofrequency Ablation: Two Systematic Literature Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2009;2:349-361; originally published online June 2, 2009; doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.108.824789

6. Natale A, Reddy VY, Monir G, et al. Paroxysmal AF catheter ablation with a contact force sensing catheter: results of the prospective, multicenter SMART AF trial. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014;64:647–56.

7. Medical illustrations of heart and catheterization procedure created by Molly Borman-Pullen.


Caution: US law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician. Important information: Prior to use, refer to the instructions for use supplied with this device for indications, contraindications, side effects, warnings and precautions.

The NAVISTAR® THERMOCOOL®, EZ STEER® THERMOCOOL® NAV, THERMOCOOL® SF NAV, and THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheters are FDA approved for the treatment of drug refractory recurrent symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, when used with compatible three-dimensional electroanatomic mapping systems. Catheter ablation for AF may not be an option for you if you have any oft he following conditions: certain recent heart surgery; prosthetic valves; active systemic infection; certain cancers; intracardiac thrombus, or an interatrial baffle or patch. Consult your physician to find out if catheter ablation is right for you.


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.


© Biosense Webster, Inc. 2018 020689-170815

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