20. “Is there a way to get off blood thinners all together? I hate taking Coumadin. I know I’m at risk of an A-Fib stroke.”
To get off blood thinners all together you must solve the underlying reason why you’re on the drug in the first place.
You must cure your Atrial Fibrillation and address any other contributing issues that puts you at risk of clots and stroke. For example, if you have undiagnosed sleep apnea, your EP will want you tested and put on an appropriate treatment. The same is true if you have heart valve disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or are severely overweight.
You may need to change doctors, too. You want an electrophysiologist (EP) who specializes in heart rhythm problems and Atrial Fibrillation in particular. Seek an EP whom you are comfortable with, someone who will partner with you to seek your cure. For help, see “Finding the Right Doctor.”
Your EP will evaluate you and your Atrial Fibrillation and other conditions impacting your health. You may discuss a catheter ablation procedure to become A-Fib free. To address the increased risk of stroke without being on a blood thinner, ask your EP about closing off your Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) where 90%-95% of A-Fib clots come from.
Or if you have other heart problems or you don’t qualify for an ablation, you may look at the Cox maze or Mini-maze, or a Hybrid Surgery/Ablation procedure.
Caution: It’s important to understand that you should not stop taking Coumadin without the guidance of your doctor or a health care professional.
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