The good news for heart patients
"This is good news for patients," said the study leader Elena Arbelo, MD, a senior arrhythmia specialist cardiologist at the Barcelona Hospital Clínic in Spain. “Ninety-one percent of the patients choose to undergo an ablation for relief of symptoms and 66 percent to improve their quality of life."
In another recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology 66th Annual Scientific Session, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania had more good news for people with afib. They found many patients who were successfully treated with ablation no longer needed to take blood thinners. So former afib sufferers avoided the risks associated with anticoagulant drugs — including internal bleeding, easy bruising, strokes caused by bleeding in the brain, and interactions with other medications.
Not everyone with afib may need or want an ablation if their symptoms are controlled with well-tolerated medication. But for patients who are still symptomatic despite antiarrhythmic drugs, catheter ablation is now a recommended treatment for many afib patients — and it can be life-changing.
Although the complication rate for catheter ablations is low, Arbelo notes having the procedure at centers with highly experienced electrophysiologists can minimize any risks.
March 03, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN