Can a Pacemaker Help with My Atrial Fibrillation?

If you’re living with AFib, it’s likely that you’re constantly on the lookout for treatments that may provide relief.

If your Atrial Fibrillation is causing you to have a slow heartbeat, a treatment you may be currently considering is a pacemaker. A pacemaker sends out electrical pulses that take the place of the mixed-up ones, so your heart beats at the right pace.

If this is something your doctor has recommended as part of a treatment program, here are a few important things to keep in mind.

A Pacemaker treats AFib, but does not provide a “cure”

While a pacemaker brings relief of symptoms and attacks caused by Atrial Fibrillation, the underlying issues with the heart will not be cured. A pacemaker will likely be part of a long-term care regimen that your doctor recommends, that you will revisit as time goes on to ensure that it’s still effective.

Your AFib may not be a good candidate for a pacemaker

If your Atrial Fibrillation is causing an abnormally rapid heartbeat- this form of treatment is most likely not for you. Those with an abnormally slow heart rate as a result of AFib, however, may want to consider this option with their doctor to bring you back to a steady heart rate and help to prevent any pauses.

If you have Tachy Brady Syndrome

A pacemaker may help. This can help balance out your heart rate so that your natural rate is not as slow and so you can better tolerate your AFib medication and prevent an increased heart rate that can be a result of an intense drug regimen

About AV Node Ablation

A pacemaker is often recommended by doctors to be combined with AV Node Ablation. This treatment is a cardiac catheterization procedure to treat atrial fibrillation. Your doctor applies radiofrequency energy (heat) to the pathway connecting the upper chambers (atria) and lower chambers (ventricles) of your heart (AV node) through a catheter. Because the pulse rate typically drops to a slow rate as a result of this procedure, a pacemaker can be implanted to increase the heart rate at rest and during exertion or exercise, simulating a normal heart rhythm.

As always, discuss your treatment options with your doctor, as they will be able to recommend a course of treatment specific to your case and medical history.