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Jun 6, 2024

Atrial fibrillation (AF) management involves a careful balance between controlling symptoms, reducing stroke risk, and minimizing treatment-related complications. When considering ablation therapy for AF, several factors are taken into account to determine the optimal timing. Generally, ablation is considered for patients who have symptomatic AF despite optimal medical therapy or those who are intolerant to antiarrhythmic medications. Additionally, patients with certain risk factors, such as structural heart disease or a high burden of AF episodes, may benefit from earlier intervention.

     However, the decision to proceed with ablation is individualized and requires thorough evaluation by a cardiac electrophysiologist, a cardiologist with additional training in arrhythmias.   In cases where anticoagulation therapy is indicated to reduce stroke risk, but long-term anticoagulation is deemed unsuitable, left atrial appendage closure with devices like the Watchman may be considered. The Watchman device offers an alternative to anticoagulation by sealing off the left atrial appendage, reducing the risk of stroke in patients with non-valvular AF. The timing of Watchman implantation is typically based on individual stroke risk assessment and patient preference, with careful consideration given to the overall management strategy for AF.