“Surgical treatment with ablation is a therapeutic option that is now increasingly available in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), even sometimes before antiarrhythmics, especially when two new studies show that this strategy is superior.” explains Professor Frédéric Sacher, a rhythm from the University Hospital of Bordeaux, as part of an action week focusing on atrial fibrillation.
Small incisions in heart tissue
Atrial fibrillation is a treacherous pathology because it is often silent, affecting 40 million people worldwide and 750,000 in France. This disorder is characterized by an irregular and unusually fast heart rhythm that can lead to a stroke.
During surgical removal of the heart, small incisions are made in the cardiac tissue in the atria (upper chambers of the heart). By blocking the abnormal signaling pathway, these incisions restore normal heart rhythm. Previously, the incisions were made with a scalpel and then sutured, which complicated and risky the procedure. However, new cutting techniques have made it possible to reduce the degree of difficulty of the intervention and the risks associated with it.
Professor Frédéric Sacher specifies: “For people who have been permanently fibrillated for several years, surgical ablation treatment is becoming more difficult. Surgical ablation treatment also involves spending two or three hours on the operating table lying down, which can be a bit complicated. for the elderly ”.
A week of rest after surgery
“After surgery, patients must be monitored to avoid complications or recurrences. The ultimate goal is to discontinue antiarrhythmics. When patients return home, they usually take a week’s rest without having to undergo special rehabilitation. “ concludes by a healthcare professional.
In order to treat it as effectively as possible, atrial fibrillation must be detected as soon as the first symptoms appear, which may be tiredness, palpitations, shortness of breath or even dizziness. More than 20% of strokes are associated with pre-existing atrial fibrillation, which can be detected and controlled. Birth weight and tobacco are aggravating factors in pathology.