Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, discusses atrial fibrillation and ablation therapy.
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A local cardiologist is a medical doctor who treats a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Some of the heart conditions your local cardiologist may treat include heart disease, heart attacks, coronary microvascular disease (the narrowing of the small blood vessels of the coronary arteries) and atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). Depending on the condition you have, a local cardiologist may prescribe medication, cardiovascular surgery and/or lifestyle changes or surgery. Your local cardiologist can work with your local registered dietitian or local nutritionist to help you plan heart-healthy meals, lower cholesterol, lose weight and fuel your body for exercise.
The third type of treatment is called ablation, and this is a way of putting wires inside the heart and making small burns inside the heart to get rid of the electrical short circuits that cause atrial fibrillation, in an attempt to prevent the problem from recurring. Ablation can be very effective, but it isn't for all patients. In many cases, heart disease can be prevented by controlling risk factors. Risk factors for heart disease include obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes. The best place to start is with your physician – he or she can help you get on the right track with diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications.