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Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

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"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

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"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

degenerative disease

FAQs A-Fib Ablations: Wait or Ablate Now?

 FAQs A-Fib Ablations: Wait or Ablate?

Catheter Ablation

Catheter Ablation

“I’m getting by with my Atrial Fibrillation. With the recent improvements in Pulmonary Vein ablation techniques, should I wait until a better technique is developed?”

A-Fib is a progressive disease. The longer you have it, in general the worse it gets. In a process called “remodeling” your heart may change physically and electrically if you have A-Fib long enough. The longer you have A-Fib, the harder it is to cure.

For instance, a patient can be diagnosed with paroxysmal A-Fib initially and then transition to persistent, and eventually to long-standing persistent A-Fib. This progressive nature of atrial fibrillation is why doctors say, “A-Fib begets A-Fib”.

So, it’s important to be cured as soon as reasonably possible. See our Overview of A-Fib.

With today’s current Pulmonary Vein Ablation (Isolation) procedures using Pulmonary Vein Potentials, you have an 70%-85% chance of becoming A-Fib-free (in cases of Paroxysmal A-Fib). (The other 15% though not cured are often significantly improved; meds that didn’t work before may now work.) With a second ablation the success rate is 90% or greater.

So don’t wait. Your odds aren’t going to get much better than that.

¤  Haïssaguerre M. “Electrophysiological End Point for Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation Initiated From Multiple Pulmonary Venous Foci,” Circulation. 2000;101:p. 1409.
¤  Jaïs, P. NASPE Convention presentation, San Diego, CA, May 8, 2002.

Return to FAQ Catheter Ablations

FAQs Coping with A-Fib: Progression of Disease

 FAQs Coping with A-Fib: Progression of Disease

red-heart-negative 150 pix by 96 res“How long do I have before my A-Fib goes into chronic or permanent A-Fib? I know it’s harder to cure. I’ve had Paroxysmal (occasional) A-Fib for a couple of months, but the A-Fib episodes seem to be getting longer and more frequent. 

Worst case scenario, Paroxysmal (occasional) A-Fib can progress to permanent in about one year. In a study of 5,000+ A-Fib patients, 54% of those on rate control meds went into permanent A-Fib in one year. However, there are people who’ve had Paroxysmal A-Fib for years and never progress to permanent A-Fib.

But the odds are against you. You are correct that the longer you have Atrial Fibrillation, the harder it can be to cure it. Consider working aggressively to stop your A-Fib as with antiarrhythmic meds or with a minimally-invasive Pulmonary Vein Ablation or a Mini-maze surgery. You don’t want to be part of the 54% whose A-Fib becomes permanent.1

To learn about various Treatment options for Atrial Fibrillation, see our Treatments page. Think about your treatment goals. Is managing your A-Fib and increased stroke risk with meds okay with you? Or do you prefer to aim for a cure? Discuss the options with your doctor. Take action as soon as practical.

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Monday, February 13, 2017

Back to FAQs: Coping with Your A-Fib

Footnote Citations    (↵ returns to text)

  1. O’Riordan, M. RECORD AF: Better Success With Rhythm Control, But No Difference in Outcomes. Heartwire/Medscape Medical News. November 17, 2009. Last accessed March 29, 2014. URL:

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