Atrial Fibrillation Clinic

MercyOne Iowa Heart Center's Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Clinic is located in the Heart Rhythm Center in West Des Moines. Our team is comprised of electrophysiology cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, imaging specialists, specially trained nurses, researchers, a dietitian, prevention and wellness specialist and an afib navigator to help guide patients. This integrated team is dedicated to providing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis, treatment and management of afib.

What is afib?
Afib, short for atrial fibrillation, is an irregular heartbeat caused by a disrupted electrical signal in the heart, also known as an arrhythmia. It is the most common type of arrhythmia, affecting over 2.5 million Americans.

Why is afib a problem?
When the heart beats irregularly, it does not affectively pump the blood through the heart to the rest of the body. This ineffective pumping can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and additional heart rhythm disorders.

What are the risk factors?
There are many factors that can contribute to afib, some that can be changed (these are modifiable) and some that cannot, such as age. Some common modifiable risk factors include:

  • Obesity/physical inactivity
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Alcohol use
  • Caffeine intake
  • Smoking
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Heart disease/heart failure
  • Kidney disease

What is the treatment?
After a thorough consultation with an electrophysiology (EP) cardiologist and pertinent diagnostic testing, a treatment plan will be created and discussed with the patient. An afib navigator is available in clinic and will serve as a valuable resource to help guide the patient through the treatment process, provide necessary education, coaching and resources for risk factor management and follow up.

In addition to risk factor management, treatment options may include:

  • Medication therapy
  • Advanced mapping and ablation therapy techniques
  • Full range of imaging/diagnostic studies including: electrocardiogram (EKG), ambulatory monitoring, echocardiogram and transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE).
  • Electrical Cardioversion
  • Surgical procedures such as Convergent a hybrid surgical ablation
  • Device implantation
  • Left atrial appendage closure, such as a Watchman device implant, Amulet or Lariat procedure.
  • Clinical research trials

What are the goals of treatment?

  • Minimize afib impact on quality of life
  • Prevent blood clots and potential stroke
  • Restore normal heart rhythm
  • Reveal underlying causes
  • Treat modifiable risk factors
  • Control heart rate to prevent further disease processes such as heart failure

To schedule an appointment with the Afib Clinic, call (515) 633-3583.