Doctors & patients are saying about ''...

" is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
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.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"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."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"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

 FAQs A-Fib Ablations: Enlarged Heart 

Catheter Ablation

Catheter Ablation

“What is an enlarged heart? Does it cause A-Fib?. I was told I can’t have a Pulmonary Vein Ablation (Isolation) procedure because I have an enlarged heart. Why is that?”

A-Fib is a progressive disease that, among other bad effects, tends to enlarge and stretch your left atrium. Because your left atrium is fibrillating or quivering rather than beating properly, it isn’t filling and emptying properly. Your left atrium has to work harder than normal and tends to stretch and dilate over time.

(An enlarged heart may also proceed or cause A-Fib. High blood pressure or other heart problems may enlarge your heart and lead to or trigger A-Fib.)

A normal left atrium measures around 2.0-4.0 cm. Some centers won’t do a Pulmonary Vein Ablation (Isolation) procedure if the left atrium is over 5.5 cm. Because the left atrium heart walls have been stretched thin in an enlarged heart, it is easier to puncture them when doing a left atrium ablation. Surgeons also are reluctant to operate on someone with an enlarged heart. (Some people, like Lance Armstrong and other athletes, have a naturally larger heart due to their levels of physical activity. The above rules would not apply to them.)

However, some centers do perform PVA(I)s on patients with an enlarged heart. Newer ablation techniques are less likely to puncture heart walls. (The author does not currently have a list of centers doing ablations on patients with an enlarged heart. But if you email me, I will try to find someone near you.)

If you have A-Fib, you should have your left atrium measured to see if it is being enlarged. One of the benefits of a successful PVA(I) (besides curing A-Fib) is that it often reduces an enlarged left atrium.

Resource for this article
¤  Pappone, C. et al. “Atrial electroanatomical remodeling after circumferential radiofrequency pulmonary vein ablation. Efficacy of an anatomic approach in a large cohort of patients with atrial fibrillation.” Circulation 2001;104:2539-2544.

Return to FAQ Catheter Ablations
Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018

Related Posts

Follow Us
facebook - A-Fib.comtwitter - A-Fib.comlinkedin - A-Fib.compinterest - A-Fib.comYouTube: A-Fib Can be Cured! -

We Need You Help be self-supporting-Use our link to Amazon is a
501(c)(3) Nonprofit

Your support is needed. Every donation helps, even just $1.00. top rated by since 2014 

Home | The A-Fib Coach | Help Support | A-Fib News Archive | Tell Us What You think | Press Room | GuideStar Seal | HON certification | Disclosures | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy