Atrial Flutter

Atrial flutter is one of the most common types of arrhythmias, or heart rhythm disorder. It starts in the upper chambers, or atria, of the heart.

When you have atrial flutter, you need the right treatment to protect you from long-term side effects. The doctors at the Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute can help.

Why Choose Henry Ford Health for atrial flutter?

At Henry Ford, our experienced doctors offer effective treatments that protect your heart for the long term.

We can accurately diagnose atrial flutter and determine which treatments can help you the most. In many cases, we can cure atrial flutter with a minimally invasive procedure called cardiac ablation.

What causes atrial flutter?

Atrial flutter is caused by a glitch with the heart’s electrical system. A “short circuit” causes the atria to beat too quickly, or flutter. Atrial flutter is a type of tachycardia, or abnormally fast heartbeat.

Symptoms of atrial flutter

Some people with atrial flutter do not have any symptoms. Others may experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Heart failure
  • Heart palpitations (fluttering feeling in the chest)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stroke
  • Tiredness

Atrial flutter and stroke

It’s important to get proper treatment for atrial flutter. It can lead to blood pooling, or clotting, in the heart. If a clot enters your bloodstream, it can cause a stroke.

Diagnosing atrial flutter

An accurate diagnosis is the key to treating atrial flutter. Our thorough evaluation includes:

Atrial flutter ablation

We perform minimally invasive ablations in our electrophysiology lab. Sophisticated imaging allows us to locate the source of the atrial flutter and treat it with special heat or extreme cold. Ablation often cures atrial flutter.

Other treatments for atrial flutter

Other atrial flutter treatments may include:

  • Medication: We may prescribe medications to control your heart’s rhythm and prevent blood clots. Learn more about arrhythmia medications.
  • Cardioversion: We use this procedure to deliver a shock to your heart and restore its normal rhythm. Find out more about cardioversion.
Take the next step.

Request an appointment with an electrophysiologist.

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