If you ask Dr. Monica Lo what she does at Arkansas Heart Hospital, you may be surprised to hear her refer to herself as an electrician. While she’s not an electrician in the traditional sense, she does spend much of her time working with electrical circuits – the ones in the heart. A cardiologist with a subspecialty in electrophysiology, Dr. Lo treats patients dealing with atrial fibrillation. In honor of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, we’re shining a light on “a-fib” and the work Dr. Lo does to help patients manage it.
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart’s electrical impulses are off, causing an irregular heartbeat and improper blood flow. A heart with a-fib beats too quickly, too slowly or erratically, and can ultimately lead to more serious health issues like stroke and heart failure.
Every a-fib patient displays different symptoms, but some of the most common risk factors come with age. More than 20% of patients over the age of 80 have a-fib, though it affects people of all ages. Because a-fib displays different symptoms in every patient, a diagnostic screening at your regular heart checkup is the best way to diagnose it.
At Arkansas Heart Hospital, Dr. Lo and the electrophysiology team at the Heart Rhythm Institute work with patients to find any potential underlying causes for their a-fib, reverse them, and help them manage the condition. Similar to medication used to manage blood pressure, patients who choose medication as their a-fib treatment will do so indefinitely. Eligible patients can choose to undergo an ablation procedure to more permanently treat their a-fib.
To learn more about atrial fibrillation, check out our Heart Rhythm Institute. For more information about how Arkansas Heart Hospital provides expert treatment for its patients, see our heart care services.