Dr AFib – Can AFib be cured?

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Can AFib be cured?

 

Transcript:

Thank you for visiting Dr. AFib, I am Dr. Morales. In today’s video segment we are going to be talking about a very common question that I get. Can AFib be cured? Well, in order to better answer that question, you have to define what does a cure mean? To me, I have a very strict definition of a cure.

A cure for atrial fibrillation means that you get either a procedure done or a lifestyle change or weight loss, which then gives you zero atrial fibrillation for the rest of your life, not even one second of atrial fibrillation. If you use that very strict definition, unfortunately, the answer is no. There is no clear cure for atrial fibrillation. Now there may be a few examples out there, people that you may know that either got a procedure done or a lifestyle change and they never had any atrial fibrillation anymore after that.

For those types of a patient there will be few examples of that and in general whatever treatment strategies they may have gotten cannot be applicable to the entire population of people who have atrial fibrillation. I tell people the example of patients who have a pacemaker. For example, somebody who has a pacemaker, it is recording all the time and even if they have a history of atrial fibrillation and they get a very successful procedure done like an ablation procedure, the pacemaker will still record small but insignificant episodes of atrial fibrillation. So the episodes of AFib are not zero, there’s still a little bit there but it’s just dramatically improved.  An ablation procedure, whether that’s a catheter ablation or surgical ablation, or even lifestyle modifications like weight loss or treating sleep apnea, can dramatically improve the amount of AFib that you have but it’s not going to be a 100% cure. I’ve unfortunately seen patients in the hospital who had procedures are done that had very successful outcomes and they were told they didn’t need medications anymore and the first signs of AFib coming back several years down the road was a stroke, unfortunately.

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