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Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common abnormal heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia) and the second most common cardiac condition in the United States. Yale New Haven Health’s comprehensive Atrial Fibrillation Program provides expert care and management of this and related conditions.

Our team of nationally recognized cardiac arrhythmia specialists (electrophysiologists) is skilled in using the latest technology and ground breaking scientific advancements to provide patients with the best treatment strategies for each patient. These include medical and procedural approaches to treating atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and related heart abnormalities. Our physicians are experts in dealing with the complexities of cardiac rhythm disturbances.

Advanced technology for heart rhythm monitoring includes a very small monitor that is injected under the chest skin and, over an extended period, monitors every heartbeat 24/7. Information received from the monitor, including arrhythmias that may be sporadic and intermittent, is automatically and wirelessly transmitted to the patient’s physician. This type of device vs. a wearable monitor, may be an option.

Our physicians participate in clinical trials, national registries and conduct cutting-edge laboratory research to advance treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and ensure our patients receive the best possible care. 

Among our comprehensive treatments for atrial fibrillation: 

  • Atrial fibrillation rhythm control medications to prevent atrial fibrillation and stop the associated symptoms
  • Anticoagulation (blood thinning) medications to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter-based ablation of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter to prevent atrial fibrillation and stop related symptoms when rhythm medications are ineffective or cause side effects
  • Catheter-based left atrial appendage closure for prevention of stroke and systemic thromboembolism in atrial fibrillation. Many patients cannot tolerate blood thinners (anticoagulants) due to bleeding, falls or other concerns. Yale New Haven Hospital offers a minimally invasive procedure to implant a small, umbrella-like metal device (WATCHMAN FLX™) in the left atrial appendage that prevents blood clots from forming in the heart and causing stroke. An alternative device (Lariat®) closes the left atrial appendage with a loop of suture. With either device most patients can come off blood thinners and remain only on aspirin.
  • Comprehensive risk factor testing and management for associated conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes, and congestive heart failure
  • Genetic testing, as appropriate, for heart conditions that may be associated with atrial fibrillation
  • Surgical procedures (Maze and left atrial appendage closure/excision, hybrid ablation) 

Centralized appointment scheduling

Through our centralized program, we can provide a physician referral and initial appointment with one of several electrophysiologists on the Yale New Haven Hospital medical staff. Physician offices are conveniently located in New Haven, Branford, North Haven, Bridgeport, Greenwich and New London. To learn more or to make an appointment, please call the Atrial Fibrillation Program at 203-785-4126.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Learn more about cardiac arrhythmias from electrophysiologist James Freeman, MD, co-director, Atrial Fibrillation Program.

Watch the video
heart rhythm

Why a Consistent Heart Rhythm is Important

Yale Medicine Explains

Electrophysiologist Joseph Akar, MD, PhD, speaks about the heart’s rhythm.


Russell's Comeback Story

Russell was resigned to living an ultra-careful lifestyle because of AFib.

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Atrial Fibrillation Program