AFib Treatment in Washington DC
Atrial Fibrillation Specialist Dr. John Trujillo
What is AFib?
AFib is a nickname for Atrial Fibrillation, or a type of irregular heartbeat. AFib is the most common type of treated heart arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way.
Dr. John Trujillo is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Interventional Cardiology, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Cardiology and specializes in the treatment of complex coronary diseases. If you are experiencing symptoms of AFib, have been recently diagnosed, or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our cardiology clinic near Washington DC for more information. Dr. Trujillo treats individuals with AFib located in and around Maryland, Washington DC, Silver Spring, Rockville, Germantown, Frederick, and Hagerstown, please call (240) 449-1100 or request an appointment through our secure online form.
Why Does AFib Occur?
AFib may happen in brief episodes, or it may be a permanent condition. Your heart normally contracts and relaxes to a regular beat. However if you have AFib, the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat irregularly. This leads to a lack of blood being pumped out and it can pool in the area. This pooled blood can clot, which can put you at severe risk.
AFib is typically seen in older adults as the risk increases with age. Other factors may include high blood pressure, obesity, lifestyle factors, disease, family history, or other causes.
What are the Symptoms of AFib?
If you have AFib, you may experience:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart palpitations (rapid, fluttering, or pounding)
- Chest pain
- Gasping for air
- No symptoms
It is important to see a doctor regularly, as some cases of AFib show no symptoms. Dr. John Trujillo can do routine scans and diagnose your heart condition to give you peace of mind moving forward.
How Can Treatment for AFib Help?
Treatment for AFib may include:
- Medicines to control the heart’s rhythm and rate
- Blood-thinning medicine to prevent blood clots from forming and reduce stroke risk
- Surgery or ablation to help with electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats
- Healthy lifestyle changes to manage AFib risk factors like diet and exercise
What Is WATCHMAN and How Does It Work?
Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of an individual having a stroke because AFib can decrease the heart’s pumping capacity by as much as 30%. When blood isn’t being pumped from the heart normally, it’s easier for blood cells to stick together and form clots in the left atrial appendage. The migration of a clot into other parts of the body can cut off blood supply to the brain and cause a stroke.
The WATCHMAN device is implanted into your heart during a minimally invasive procedure. The WATCHMAN device is an alternative to traditional blood thinners which can prevent furth bleeding and minimize the symptoms associated with medication.
The WATCHMAN implant permanently closes off the left atrial appendage which forms a barrier against blood clots.
What Happens if Left Untreated?
AFib can lead to
- Blood clots
- Heart failure
- Other heart-related complications
It is a serious condition that can greatly increase your risk for stroke. The clot risk is high and people with AFib should be checked regularly to avoid complications. If a blood clot forms, it can leave the heart and block the blood supply to the brain and cause a stroke. According to the CDC, AFib causes about 1 in 7 strokes.
Schedule Your AFib Consultation Near Washington DC Today
If you are experiencing symptoms of AFib or another heart condition, contact board-certified cardiologist Dr. John Trujillo to discuss your symptoms and the treatment available. For more information on WATCHMAN and AFib treatment, please call (301) 634-4800 or request an appointment online today! With our cardiology clinic near Washington, DC, patients will drive from Washington DC and all over Maryland including Silver Spring, Rockville, Germantown, Frederick, and Hagerstown.