Atrial Fibrillation | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Atrial Fibrillation

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute’s specialists are the leading providers of atrial fibrillation (A-fib) care in Louisville and Southern Indiana. They treat thousands of atrial fibrillation patients each year and complete almost 500 ablations, an advanced treatment for A-fib per year. Our Atrial Fibrillation Program features:

  • A team of board-certified and fellowship-trained electrophysiologists and advanced practice providers who have the technology to evaluate the potential causes of your A-fib and create a custom treatment plan
  • Full suite of treatment options including medication management, catheter ablation, surgical ablation, hybrid ablation (combined catheter and surgical ablation),  and left atrial appendage closure (Watchman and AtriClip) to reduce the increased risk of a stroke that is common to A-fib
  • Specialty clinic exclusive to A-fib patients for new diagnosis and treatment, offering same-day appointments for newly diagnosed patients
  • A dedicated nurse educator to assist patients in understanding their condition and connecting them to resources as needed
The American College of Cardiology has recognized Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital for their expertise and commitment to treating patients with atrial fibrillation, a common arrhythmia. The accreditation includes special recognition of the full suite of electrophysiology and surgical services we provide.

Personalized A-fib Treatment

Each person with A-fib is unique, just as the right treatment plan is unique to each person. Taking into consideration the type of A-fib and other health conditions you may be experiencing, our team will work with you and your primary care provider or cardiologist to create a treatment plan that is right for you.

On-demand A-fib Educational Workshop

Learn more about A-fib and advanced treatment options.
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Diagnosis and Monitoring

There are different types of A-fib, and correctly diagnosing which you have is the first step in developing the best treatment plan. A-fib can begin spontaneously, come and go (paroxysmal A-fib) or last for seven or more days without interruption (persistent A-fib), and many may not even know they are having irregular heart rhythm. Our team uses the latest in monitoring technology to detect and diagnose A-fib as quickly and as conveniently for you as possible.

All of our devices are monitored by our Heart Rhythm Center device monitoring unit.

Diagnostic and monitoring technology we use includes:

  • Echocardiogram — a test that provides pictures of the heart’s valves and chambers, typically performed at one of our diagnostic centers by a technician
  • In-lab electrocardiogram (EKG) — a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat at one of our diagnostic centers
  • Zio patch — small, adhesive, water-resistant, medical-grade monitor which can be worn for 14 days to record heart rhythms (EKG)
  • External monitor — battery-operated portable device that measures and records your heart’s activity continuously for 24 to 48 hours or longer depending on the type
  • Reveal LINQ — implantable loop recording device, about the size of a paper clip, that monitors heart rhythms for up to three years

A-fib Treatment Options

A diagnosis of atrial fibrillation often comes with a prescription for medication to prevent and treat blood clots that may be caused by the arrhythmia. Left untreated, blood clots can lead to a stroke. Additional medications may be prescribed to control heart rate and rhythm. For many patients, these can be the first and most helpful form of treatment.

READ MORE: Answers to common questions about atrial fibrillation medications

Medications can be an effective treatment, but they can have side effects, and there may be alternatives to control your condition more effectively. Often, a combination of medication therapy, monitoring and minimally invasive surgical intervention can help improve A-fib symptoms or even eliminate the arrhythmia. Decisions about A-fib treatment can be complex. Our team works with each person to develop a treatment plan and make sure you have all the answers you need every step of the way.

Treatment options for A-fib may include:

  • Medication management
  • Pacemaker
  • Implantable cardiac defibrillator
  • Catheter ablation — radiofrequency ablation (small burst of heat) and cryo-ablation (cold)
  • Surgical ablation procedures, such as “maze
  • Hybrid ablation – a combined surgical and catheter ablation
  • Left atrial appendage closure — implant of the Watchman or AtriaClip device to reduce the risk of stroke

Cutting-edge Surgical Interventions

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Heart Rhythm Center electrophysiologists work closely with Norton Cardiothoracic Surgery to offer the latest in surgical correction for heart arrhythmias like A-fib. Norton Heart & Vascular Institute’s three board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiothoracic surgeons are experienced in advanced open-heart surgery, such as heart bypass and valve replacement, as well as in minimally invasive, robotic-assisted procedures on the heart, lungs and other organs in the chest.

The Norton Heart & Vascular Institute team is the only healthcare provider in Louisville to offer a hybrid ablation procedure, a minimally invasive surgical treatment which combines the best of electrophysiology and cardiac surgery treatments to help restore a normal heart rhythm for longtime arrhythmia sufferers, including patients with structural heart disease that has not responded to other treatment.

Heart and Vascular Care for the Whole Person

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers patient resources to support you and your family, including free classes for people of all ages who are seeking to improve cardiovascular health or living with a heart condition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation providers are leaders in developing and applying innovative techniques that can help you recover and resume your life.

Connecting Hearts Support Group

The group provides education and support to individuals who have had a heart attack, are living with a heart condition or are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart Health Screenings

Prevention is the best way to manage heart disease, and screenings are available to detect early signs of cardiac and vascular disease and identify risk factors.

About Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

About 250,000 people a year in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute to treat their heart and vascular conditions. That’s more than any other provider in the area.

  • All four of Norton Healthcare’s adult acute-care hospitals are accredited by the American College of Cardiology’s Accreditation Services as Chest Pain Centers, with the highest accreditation level possible for facilities able to treat heart attacks.
  • We have more than 50 board-certified cardiovascular physicians and 35 advanced practice providers. Through training and years of experience, they specialize in areas such as cardiologyinterventional cardiologycardiothoracic surgerythoracic surgery, electrophysiologyadvanced heart failureand vascular surgery.
  • We offer same-day appointments for new patients.
  • We have 27 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 clinical sites in the region.
  • Norton Healthcare has four adult-service cardiac catheterization labs, with 14 state-of-the-art rooms. Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital have received the highest level of cardiac catheterization accreditation from the American College of Cardiology — offering lifesaving, minimally invasive procedures for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Our cardiothoracic surgeons and electrophysiologists have more experience than any provider in the area performing hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation (A-fib). This innovative treatment also can help patients who have had persistent A-fib for more than a year that hasn’t responded to other treatments.
  • Norton Healthcare is the only health care system in Kentucky to receive the prestigious Mission: Lifeline Regional Trailblazer Award from the American Heart Association for being an innovator in creating a system of care for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attacks — the most severe type of heart attack.
Heart Rhythm Center 8400

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute one of top in country for A-fib hybrid ablation procedure

A device recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is changing the way heart specialists can care for patients with A-fib. A-fib is a […]

Read Full Story

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) isn’t life-threatening, but can cause conditions that are dangerous

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a heart rhythm condition that isn’t life-threatening, but can lead to other conditions such as stroke and heart failure, so it should be taken very seriously. A-fib is an irregular heart […]

Read Full Story

Quick action helped Denny Crum recover from two strokes – don’t delay getting treatment

During his 30-year coaching career at the University of Louisville, legendary Basketball Hall of Famer Denny Crum was prepared for the toughest matchups on the court. Off the court, two strokes in two years not [...]

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Snoring loudly is a telltale sign of obstructive sleep apnea and a warning you may face a higher risk of stroke. Sleep apnea more than doubles the risk of stroke for middle-aged and older men [...]

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Today Norton Healthcare held a celebration to honor the Norton Heart & Vascular Institute team. During the event, local businessman G. Hunt Rounsavall, a long-standing member of the Norton Healthcare board of trustees and major […]

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Norton Heart & Vascular Institute one of top in country for A-fib hybrid ablation procedure

A device recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is changing the way heart specialists can care for patients with A-fib. A-fib is a […]

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Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) isn’t life-threatening, but can cause conditions that are dangerous

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a heart rhythm condition that isn’t life-threatening, but can lead to other conditions such as stroke and heart failure, so it should be taken very seriously. A-fib is an irregular heart […]

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