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

Post-Operative A-Fib Happens Too Often and is Dangerous

A friend of ours had to undergo heart bypass surgery. Though I forewarned him, he did go into A-Fib after surgery. It’s called Post-operative A-Fib (POAF).

Why did this happen? The surgeon didn’t pretreat him before the surgery so that he wouldn’t get A-Fib.

Fortunately, after the surgery, the surgeon did put him on a protocol (amiodarone for a short time) that did bring him back into normal sinus rhythm. Luckily, he has remained free of A-Fib. Not all surgery patients are so lucky. 

Post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a well-recognized consequence of surgery.

Post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a well-recognized consequence of surgery.

Nonetheless, doctors tend to view Post-Operative A-Fib as a benign event, triggered by the stress of the surgery.

Observational Study: How Often Does POAF Occur?

In an observational retrospective study of nearly 3 million patients, researchers collected data on health claims from 2016 to 2018 for discharges from acute care hospitals across 11 states in the USA.

Patients were followed up for an average (median) of 1.7 years. The researchers adjusted their analyses to account for factors that could affect the results such as age, sex, race, insurance status, medical history and body mass index.

Study Findings: Among 76,536 patients who underwent heart surgery, 14,365 (18.8%) developed A-Fib.

Patients who underwent heart surgery, 18.8% developed A-Fib.

Among 2,929,854 patients without a history of heart disease who had surgery for non-heart-related conditions, 23,763 (0.8%) developed A-Fib.

The risk of hospitalization for heart failure for both groups of patients increased regardless of whether or not the surgery was for a heart condition. (Increased by a third and doubled, respectively.)

Risks of Post-Operative A-Fib

Occurrence rates of POAF are difficult to generalize as they vary by the type of surgery. It’s been estimated that Post-Operative A-Fib (POAF) occurs in as high as 64% of patients undergoing heart surgery (and from a low of 0.4% to a high of 26% of patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

Evidence is emerging that Post-Operative A-Fib is linked to longer term problems such as stroke and death from any cause and increased risk of hospitalization for heart failure. And may require more aggressive treatments for other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and narrowing of the arteries.

Editor's CommentsEditor’s Comments

These findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting that POAF is not just a transient response to surgery.
Post-Operative A-Fib and Heart Failure: The most disturbing point of this study is that post-operative A-Fib is linked to an increased risk of hospitalization for heart failure.
Insist on Use of Protocols: Anyone having surgery should make sure their surgeon knows about and uses protocols to prevent A-Fib after their surgery. They should insist on pre-op treatment.
It’s a shame that most surgeons don’t know about or use these protocols, it’s so simple to do.
To learn about pre-op treatments, go to my post, Having Surgery? Post-Operative A-Fib & Protocols to Prevent it.


• Goyal, P., et al. Post-operative atrial fibrillation and risk of heart failure hospitalization, European Heart Journal, Volume 43, Issue 31, 14 August 2022, Pages 2971–2980,

• Middeldorp, M. et al. Post-operative AF and heart failure hospitalizations: what remains hidden in patients undergoing surgery, European Heart Journal, Volume 43, Issue 31, 14 August 2022, Pages 2981–2983,

• Goyal, P. et al. AF after surgery is linked to an increased risk of heart failure hospitalization. Cardiac Rhythm News, June 29, 2022.

• Lopes LA, Agrawal DK. Post-Operative Atrial Fibrillation: Current Treatments and Etiologies for a Persistent Surgical Complication. J Surg Res (Houst). 2022;5(1):159-172. doi: 10.26502/jsr.10020209. Epub 2022 Mar 28. PMID: 35445200; PMCID: PMC9017863.

• Joshi KK, et al. Postoperative atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing non-cardiac non-thoracic surgery: A practical approach for the hospitalist. Hosp Pract (1995). 2015;43(4):235-44. doi: 10.1080/21548331.2015.1096181. PMID: 26414594; PMCID: PMC4724415

• Welker, C. C. et al. Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation: Guidelines Revisited. Editorial, Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia. August 1, 2023. DOI:  

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