Heart & Vascular

Center for Atrial Fibrillation

Carilion Clinic's Center for Atrial Fibrillation is a patient care unit that offers a comprehensive, advanced care to patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation. Atrial Fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia and the most common correctable cause of stroke.

Our physicians provide atrial fibrillation patients with cutting-edge advanced management aiming to cure the arrhythmia whenever possible. Our team of clinical cardiac electrophysiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons work in collaboration with general cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, sleep medicine specialists, neurologists, and coagulation specialists to provide a unique and multidisciplinary care to atrial fibrillation patients.

Video: What is a cryoablation?

Treatment options for atrial fibrillation include rhythm medications and blood thinners or ablative therapy. Our electrophysiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons perform corrective atrial fibrillation ablation for patients who fail or can not tolerate medical therapy.

Patient care is coordinated and each patient case is thoroughly discussed by our expert physician panel to determine the best course of treatment that is customized to each patient's specific needs.

Our electrophysiologists and cardiothroacic surgeons perform catheter-based and surgical ablation using radiofrequency or cryothermal energy techniques.

Carilion Clinic's Center for Atrial Fibrillation provides atrial fibrillation patients with:

  • 24 hour, 7 day per week access to heart rhythm specialists
  • Access to the latest treatment strategies and modalities
  • Access to participate in ongoing clinical trials

Carilion Clinic's Center for Atrial Fibrillation is the first in the region to offer patients the following treatment options:

Boston Scientific SQ-ICD Device

This device can monitor the heart without actually touching it.

This is a completely subcutaneous cardiac defibrillator, meaning recipients of this device will not have any hardware inside the circulation system or inside the heart. The SQ-ICD device is placed just under the skin. It can monitor and send a pulse to the heart without actually touching it.

We are excited to offer this new device to our patients who need an implantable cardiac defibrillator for prevention of sudden cardiac death, and at the same time who have no existing indication for cardiac pacemaker.
- Soufian AlMahameed, M.D.

BiotroniK Single Lead Dual Chamber ICD Device

Additional electrodes enable the lead to record electrical signals from the upper chambers of the heart.

This device offers the ability to detect electrical signals from two cardiac chambers with a single lead. It enhances the detection of silent atrial fibrillation and may reduce the short and long term device-related complications. The device can also serve as a pacemaker.


Carilion is the only hospital in western Virginia where patients can have the minimally invasive MAZE heart procedure to treat atrial fibrillation as well. This new approach, not widely available elsewhere, builds upon earlier but less effective surgical treatments for patients with atrial fibrillation who are otherwise healthy.

Rather than opening the chest, the MAZE procedure accesses the heart through small incisions on the side. A tiny camera and video-guided instruments are sent to the heart, which continues to beat normally so there is no need for a heart/lung bypass machine.

Video: Soufian AlMahameed, M.D. discusses heart rhythm disorders.

As with the open heart procedure, the surgeon identifies the source of the faulty electrical signals, using an electrode device to create precise scars (ablations) which block those signals.

For patients who are appropriate candidates, the minimally invasive MAZE procedure has many advantages. It is faster, taking about half the time of traditional open heart surgery, easier to recover from and is effective about 90% of the time.

For more information on any of our treatment options and services, please call the Carilion Clinic Center for Atrial Fibrillation at 540-982-8204.