Is surgery better in treating arrhythmia?

“Atrial fibrillation” is diagnosed when the heart’s electrical signals fluctuate within a minute, causing the upper chamber of the heart to work at higher rates than usual in an intermittent manner, to pool blood in the heart and increase the risk of clots that may in turn travel to the brain and cause fatal strokes.


A team of American scientists has concluded that surgical intervention is the ideal and best option for treating arrhythmia without causing more serious side effects, compared to standard medications used to treat occasional episodes of atrial fibrillation.

The new study, which was published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, explained the research conducted on the superiority of the surgical option to treat atrial fibrillation over the pharmaceutical option.

The research was conducted on a random sample of 127 patients whose ages ranged between 18-75 years and who were newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Some of them underwent treatment with medical drugs, while others underwent surgical intervention that relied on the use of a small probe that was heated to destroy areas. Certain parts of the heart’s left upper chamber in an attempt to prevent false electrical signals, according to the Heart and Blood Disease Research Institute in the United States.

Follow-up over a period of two years indicated that more than two-thirds of the 61 patients began taking the drug “Flecainide”, while 25% took the drug “Propafenone”, while 66% of the patients underwent the surgical option.

Follow-up resulted in the effectiveness and success of the surgical option in alleviating about 50% of the negative symptoms of atrial fibrillation, compared to about 30% for medical drugs.