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Why should you receive treatment
at the AMC Atrial Fibrillation Center?

Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia where the atrium loses contraction, simultaneously causing the ventricles to contract irregularly as well. It is the most common type of arrhythmia that appears in 0.4~2.0% of the population, in which 10% of them are aged 60 years or older. Atrial fibrillation is present in 30-60% of heart disease patients, 30% of whom experience a stroke more than once in their lifetime.

AMC’s Atrial Fibrillation Center utilizes cutting-edge equipment for diagnosis and treatment in close cooperation with the cardiovascular and thoracic surgery department to provide individualized treatment suitable to each patient. The arrhythmia unit of the department of cardiology is equipped with two fluoroscopy rooms and two state-of-the-art 3D arrhythmia testing machines (CATRO, NavX). The department of thoracic surgery performs robot-assisted, minimally-invasive surgery to minimize the size of the surgical site, the postoperative recovery period, and the patient’s postoperative pain and discomfort.

AMC’s Atrial Fibrillation Center provides intensive care and same-day admissions after cardiac interventions and examinations. The center also performs MAZE surgery, a therapeutic approach to atrial fibrillation. The center completes more than 70-80 cases annually and has more than a 95% success rate.

The Atrial Fibrillation Center offers treatment support services such as same-day admission after procedures/tests, counseling and reservation, and interpretation services.

Treatment options

Atrial fibrillation

The treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) aims to restore an irregular heartbeat back to normal through drug therapy, surgery or radiofrequency catheter ablation. Drug therapy is used in 70% of atrial fibrillation patients, but this is intended to relieve symptoms and prevent stroke caused by arrhythmia rather than to cure the disease. Unfortunately, around 10% of patients experience adverse effects such as a stroke even with drug therapy

Atrial fibrillation is often misunderstood as a minor arrhythmia; however, it has many risks. Patients may have discomfort and anxiety from the recognition of an irregular heartbeat, hemodynamic adverse effects caused by loss of atrioventricular rhythmicity, or consequent congestive heart failure. Other risks include blood stasis in the left atrium followed by thromboembolic stroke and various kinds of embolisms that may occur in any organ of the body.

There are two remedies for atrial fibrillation. First, anti-arrhythmic agents are used in attempts to convert the heart rate back to normal sinus rhythm. If not, atrial fibrillation is left alone, and the ventricle’s response is controlled to prevent fast heart rhythms. Second, anticoagulation therapy is used to prevent thrombotic strokes and other embolisms. However, it remains to be proven that the former treatment method is better than the latter.

Maze Surgery

Surgical treatment is an alternative treatment approach to atrial fibrillation. The Maze Surgery, a surgery based on electrophysiological studies, blocks the conduction of re-entry circuits within the atrium that trigger and maintain atrial fibrillation. The Maze Surgery is effective in restoring a regular heartbeat but does not always restore the transport and contraction functions of the left atrium. It is believed that atrial dysfunction that persists after surgery has a risk for complications such as thromboembolic complications and stroke, regardless of normal electrophysiological heart rhythms. In cases like these where the maze surgery is ineffective, radiofrequency catheter ablation can be used. This technique is known to work best in paroxysmal atrial fibrillations that often occur in the pulmonary vein, and the indications for this technique are on the rise.

AMC’s treatment performance

Major surgeries and procedures / performance

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Name Performance Remarks
Radiofrequency catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation 250~300/year More than 80% success rate
Maze procedure 150~200/year More than 80% success rate

Major medical facilities

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Devices Unit Devices Unit
3D arrhythmia testing machines 2 Angio Suite (vein illuminator) 2
Same-day admission Y Hybrid OR 1

Research achievement

and many more