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The Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center is among the world’s leading diagnostic and treatment centers for patients with all types of heart rhythm conditions, including atrial fibrillation.
As part of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service, our Atrial Fibrillation Program provides highly individualized care for patients with this disease.
Delivering individualized care means recognizing that each patient’s situation is unique. Our model of care emphasizes working closely with you, your referring physician and a team of atrial fibrillation specialists at Mass General to develop a customized treatment plan that decreases your stroke risk and reduces or eliminates your symptoms.
Your treatment plan is based on factors such as:
Each member of your Corrigan Minehan Heart Center care team specializes in treating atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias. Care teams typically include specialists such as an electrophysiologist (a cardiologist who specializes in heart rhythm conditions), a cardiologist, a cardiac radiologist, an echocardiographer and a cardiac anesthesiologist, as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
A team approach combined with high-volume experience enhances our ability to:
At your first visit, you will meet with one of our doctors along with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. The doctor will conduct a physical exam and review your medical history and laboratory tests.
If more diagnostic information is needed, additional testing may be advised. Our team includes cardiac radiologists who evaluate your heart by using advanced imaging technology capable of rendering the heart in remarkable detail.
Patient education is a cornerstone of our care model. During your first and subsequent visits, we will partner with you to ensure that you understand your condition and treatment options. We want to be sure you have the information you need to make educated decisions about your immediate and long-term care.
Our program is internationally recognized for the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias, and patients have access to the most advanced treatments.
Observation or medication is typically the first option for managing patients, but some require a procedural intervention to achieve control of their atrial fibrillation and its symptoms.
Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that aims to restore the normal heart rhythm by inactivating the tissue that triggers and perpetuates atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.
Our team of experts has made important contributions that have helped advance the field of catheter ablation using radiofrequency (heat) energy. Moreover, we pioneered the use of cryoablation (cold energy) as an alternative energy source and have found it to be very successful in many patients. Members of our team are also investigating the use of a visually-guided laser ablation as a new energy source to perform catheter ablation.
Types of catheter ablations:
Our program also offers:
Please call 866-644-8910 or complete this form to request an appointment. Our access team is available to triage your call and arrange a prompt evaluation with the most appropriate atrial fibrillation specialist.
When you refer a patient to the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, our clinicians will:
Learn more about referrals
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. In this disease, electrical signals in the atria (the upper two chambers of the heart) fire in a fast and uncontrolled manner. Because the atria quiver rather than contract, blood is not pumped completely out of the atria. The remaining blood may pool and/or clot, which significantly increases the risk of stroke.
Patients with atrial fibrillation often suffer debilitating symptoms, including palpitations, rapid heart action, fatigue, loss of energy, shortness of breath, lightheadedness and chest discomfort. Restoring a regular heartbeat can dramatically improve quality of life by:
The Atrial Fibrillation Program is part of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at the Mass General Corrigan Minehan Heart Center. Since 1978 our service has provided state-of-the-art care for patients with all types of cardiac arrhythmias, with atrial fibrillation as our primary focus.
Mass General physicians have significantly advanced the care for atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias. Among our major contributions to the field:
Today, the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service is recognized internationally for its work in the field of clinical electrophysiology, a cardiac subspecialty focused on abnormal heart rhythms.
Our physicians are Harvard Medical School faculty who:
The Atrial Fibrillation Program is directed by Moussa Mansour, MD and Jeremy Ruskin, MD. Their major clinical interest is treating atrial fibrillation, and they are active clinical consultants in all aspects of this disease (e.g. medical treatment, catheter ablation and stroke prevention).
Dr. Mansour and his colleagues have mastered the art of catheter ablation using radiofrequency and complete a large number of these procedures every year.
The team members continue to pioneer the use of new technologies for ablation for atrial fibrillation, including cryoablation and laser balloon ablation for pulmonary vein isolation. In addition, they perform implantation of the Watchman device for stroke prevention.
Our team members also study the genetic basis of atrial fibrillation to uncover its underlying causes. Since 2001 our studies have enrolled more than 900 participants and have helped identify two new genes that cause atrial fibrillation.
Patients in our program may be able to participate in clinical research studies of new technologies and treatments available only at few other hospitals in the world. Browse open clinical trials
The Cardiac Arrhythmia Service was founded to conduct groundbreaking research into atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias, a mission that continues today.
Through our preclinical research, we develop new tools for treating patients (e.g. catheters, mapping systems, imaging technologies). Clinical research involves studying these new technologies in greater depth to bring new treatments to patients as quickly as possible. Browse open clinical trials
As part of a world-class academic medical center, the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center is committed to educating the next generation of medical professionals. We have trained more than 100 fellows from all over the world. Many have gone on to direct similar programs or assume other leadership positions in the field.
At the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, patient education is a cornerstone in our model of care. Use the links below to learn how atrial fibrillation affects heart function and understand the benefits of a normal heart beat.
We have included links to information about other diseases and conditions treated by the Atrial Fibrillation Program as well as information about strokes and TIAs (mini-strokes). Our primary goal in treating patients with atrial fibrillation is preventing stroke and reducing stroke risk.
Atrial Flutter is a type of arrhythmia in which the electrical signal fires rapidly but regularly from one or more regions in the atria (upper chambers of the heart), causing an increased heart rate that can sometimes progress into atrial fibrillation.
Normal sinus rhythm is the normal rhythm of the heart in which an electrical impulse originates in the sinus node, which then stimulates the atria (upper chambers of the heart) to contract and empty blood into the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart). The impulse then travels to the ventricles, which then contract and push blood out of the heart to the rest of the body.
Stroke, also called brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
Also known as a "mini-stroke," a transient ischemic attack produces stroke-like symptoms but produces no permanent damage.
Arrhythmias are heart rhythm disorders that may originate in the atria (the receiving chambers of the heart) or the ventricles (the pumping chambers of the heart).
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia where the electrical signals in the atria (the two small chambers of the heart) are fired in a very fast and uncontrolled manner.
Mass General is dedicated to ensuring that people understand their health care choices and have the necessary information to make decisions affecting their health and well being. The related support and wellness information listed below can play a role in treatment options.
The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offers a patient guide to cardiac anesthesia. Our dedicated clinicians believe it is important for you to know what to expect before, during and after a cardiac anesthesia.
This guide has been prepared by clinicians from the Mass General Heart Center's Atrial Fibrillation Program who focus on the care of patients with this arrhythmia. The guide is designed to provide you with information about what to expect before, during and after a catheter ablation procedure (also known as Pulmonary Vein Isolation or PVI).
Clinicians from the Mass General Heart Center's Atrial Fibrillation Program created this guide to help patients with atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter prepare for their upcoming cardioversion. Download this guide to learn about what to expect before, during and after an electrical cardioversion.
Ed Cleary came to Massachusetts General Hospital in June 2012 to get his AFib treated. He had tried taking a blood thinner to help manage his AFib, but bled too much. Fortunately, he qualified for a new procedure now being used for the first time in New England by Mass General Hospital.
Cryoballoon ablation is a new procedure available at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center that is showing promise as an alternative therapy to treat atrial fibrillation, a type of heart rhythm disorder.
Mass General Heart Center physicians are evaluating a new medical device that shows promise in preventing strokes among patients with atrial fibrillation.
James Puzinas, a 47-year-old fine art dealer from Massachusetts, has a rhythm in his life. He spends his days buying and selling American paintings around the country and living an active lifestyle - working outdoors, swimming, bicycling and downhill skiing. When he started feeling exhausted after doing simple yard work, Puzinas’s rhythm was thrown off, but he attributed the heaviness in his legs to age.
Corrigan Minehan Heart Center
If you are a new patient, you may call the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center outpatient access office at 866-644-8910, or complete our online appointment form to request an appointment. A member of our access team will ask you more about your condition and symptoms, and match you with the best-fitting Corrigan Minehan Heart Center physician.
Mass General Heart Center physicians offer a new technique to prevent blood clots in the part of the heart called the left atrial appendage. This innovative procedure shows promise in preventing strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, freeing them from dependence on blood thinning medications.
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