The Importance of Atrial Fibrillation

Written by Inder Birdi on the June 4, 2019

Atrial Fibrillation is an abnormality of electrical conduction affecting the atrial chambers of the heart, which rather than beating in a coordinated and purposeful manner, contract in a haphazard and ineffective way. In its early form, atrial fibrillation may occur in a spontaneous manner for short periods. This is known as “Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation”. As the disease progresses, it becomes more “Persistent” requiring therapeutic interventions such as cardioversion (a shock across the heart) to revert the heart to regular rhythm. Ultimately Atrial Fibrillation becomes ”Permanent”.

Atrial Fibrillation is a very common abnormality which has a sinister long term affect on both the quality and length of life of your life. It can lead to heart failure, valve disturbances, and stroke. Patients in atrial fibrillation usually require drugs to control the speed of the rhythm as well as blood thinners to prevent clot formation. These blood thinners can, themselves, create strokes as a result of bleeding in the brain.

We need to be much better at picking up atrial fibrillation, and new wearable technologies will undoubtedly be a game changer in this regard. For those who have developed atrial fibrillation, we also need to select patients who may be suitable for catheter and surgical based treatments which can be very effective at abolishing the harmful rhythm.

Introducing Mr. Steven Hunter, Surgical Electrophysiology Lead

The Keyhole Heart Clinic have invested much time and resource to create a world class Atrial Fibrillation Clinic aimed at treating atrial fibrillation using the most effective treatment strategies available today. We are pleased to announce that Mr. Steven Hunter, Consultant Surgeon has joined our team and now leads the Surgical Electrophysiology Division.

Steven is a very accomplished keyhole heart surgeon and highly respected amongst his peers. In  2003 he began a keyhole atrial fibrillation surgery programme and became only the second surgeon in the world to perform this procedure. Part of this treatment involves the application of a clip to an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage in order to reduce the risk of stroke which may result from clot formation in this appendage. Steven was the first surgeon in the world to apply this clip using keyhole surgery.

His vast experience in keyhole atrial fibrillation ablation will ensure that The Keyhole Heart Clinic continues to offer world class treatments in both traditional and keyhole treatments.

We interviewed Steven recently in our headquarters at Plexal.

Please feel free to watch the full video here:



Other useful links:

Keyhole Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Heart Rhythm Disorders

More About Atrial Fibrillation

Keyhole Mitral Valve Surgery


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