Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)


The Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute​ provides advanced treatment options for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). Many of these innovative procedures are performed in the new Allan and Sandy Fainbarg Electrophysiology Cath Lab Suite, the first EP suite of its kind in Orange County. The new state-of-the-art suite offers the latest in EP technology coupled with a comfortable patient-centered environment.

Atrial Fibrillation (afib) is the most common type of arrhythmia. As a recognized leader in state-of-the-art arrhythmia management, Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of arrhythmia experts perform some of the most complex heart rhythm procedures available in the nation with clinical outcomes that rival national figures.

Treatment options for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) includes:

  • Catheter ablation
  • Topera RhythmView
  • Mini Maze Procedure
  • Follow-Up Care


Catheter ablation

A minimally invasive procedure that is performed in Hoag’s new state-of-the-art Allan and Sandy Fainbarg Electrophysiology Cath Lab Suite. During the procedure, an electrophysiologist (a cardiologist who has completed extensive fellowship training in heart rhythm disorders) threads thin, flexible catheters through a vein or artery in the upper thigh, arm, or neck. He/she guides these catheters to the heart, placing the tip of the catheter at the precise location where the arrhythmia begins. The catheter emits an energy source that the physician uses to destroy (ablate) a small area of heart tissue that is causing rapid and irregular heartbeats. Destroying this tissue helps restore the heart’s regular rhythm. In catheter ablation, different energy sources may be used to block abnormal electrical signals, such as radiofrequency energy or cryotherapy.


Topera RhythmView

A 3D graphical display that pinpoints the exact “starting point” of a heart arrhythmia, better identifying where in the heart therapy would be most needed. It is like a GPS of the heart’s electrical activity, and its ability to target treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF) has been significant for patients.

At Hoag, the new system has accurately identified rotors or focal beats in a high percentage of AF patients who used RhythmView, leading to better treatment and outcomes.

Hoag is one of only 17 hospitals in the country and second on the West Coast to use the FDA-cleared Topera RhythmView system.


Mini Maze Procedure

Hoag cardiothoracic surgeons specialize in the Mini Maze procedure. This state-of-the-art minimally invasive ablation procedure is performed in the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute’s newly renovated and expanded surgical suites. Mini Maze allows patients a faster recovery and less pain compared to traditional surgery because its performed through small incisions, or ports, without opening the chest. During the ablation procedure, a highly trained cardiothoracic surgeon uses specialized instruments to carefully destroy (ablate) the problematic heart tissue in the area where the arrhythmia begins. This process creates an electrical block along the pathway that’s causing your arrhythmia, thereby stopping the abnormal heart rhythm.

Follow-up Care

After treatment, your physician will implement a follow-up care plan in order to monitor your heart rhythm and rate. Your physician may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation, if necessary, and discuss important lifestyle changes that will help control your heart rhythm and improve your overall heart health.

Learn more about Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute’s top-rated arrhythmia management program: