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Atrial Fibrillation

Upper East Side Cardiology & Vein Institute

Cardiovascular Disease & Vein Specialist located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat that can significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. At Upper East Side Cardiology, Satjit Bhusri, MD, provides exceptional care grounded in advanced cardiology training and personal experience as a patient who survived heart failure. If you experience symptoms such as a fast heartbeat, fatigue, or dizziness, call the office in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, or schedule an appointment online.

Atrial Fibrillation Q & A

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. When you have atrial fibrillation, the two upper chambers of your heart, the atria, beat chaotically. As a result, your heart rate speeds up, and the two upper chambers fail to beat in sync with the two lower chambers.

What causes atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation occurs when heart tissue is damaged or the heart’s electrical signals malfunction. Heart diseases and chronic health problems that can lead to atrial fibrillation include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Clogged arteries (coronary artery disease)
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Inflamed heart muscles (myocarditis)

Chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea increase your risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

What symptoms develop if I have atrial fibrillation?

The most common symptoms of atrial fibrillation include:

  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations (sensations that your heart is racing or fluttering)
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or fainting

The longer atrial fibrillation goes untreated, the more likely you are to experience serious complications such as blood clots, heart failure, a stroke, or heart attack.

How is atrial fibrillation treated?

After reviewing your symptoms and completing a physical examination, the team at Upper East Side Cardiology performs a range of diagnostic tests. For example, you may need an electrocardiogram and/or echocardiogram, both of which are done in the comfort of the office at the same time as your appointment.

Then your provider creates an individualized treatment plan based on the type of atrial fibrillation and symptom severity.

Atrial fibrillation treatment often includes:

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes such as a heart-healthy diet and a regular exercise program go a long way toward protecting your heart and preventing or treating underlying problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. 


You may need medications to treat underlying problems such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Your provider may also prescribe medications to control your heart rate and prevent blood clots.

Minimally invasive procedures

The team at Upper East Side Cardiology performs minimally invasive procedures to treat atrial fibrillation, including:

  • Catheter ablation to eliminate faulty electrical tissues
  • Cardioversion to restore a normal heart rhythm
  • Left atrial appendage closure to prevent blood clots
  • Pacemaker implantation to regulate your heart rate 

If you experience palpitations or other signs of atrial fibrillation, don’t hesitate to get expert care at Upper East Side Cardiology. Call or book an appointment online today.