TROY — Beaumont Health System’s renowned heart program has opened a second clinic to treat atrial fibrillation — an irregular heart rhythm that affects nearly 2.2 million Americans.

The new Atrial Fibrillation Clinic at the Beaumont Medical Center in Sterling Heights offers evaluation, treatment and follow-up care by a specially trained registered nurse and an electrophysiologist — a physician specializing in heart arrhythmias. A heart surgeon is also available to consult with patients who may require surgical interventions.

For an appointment, call (248) 898-3839. The Sterling Heights clinic is located at 44250 Dequindre Road, across from Beaumont Hospital, Troy.

“There are a variety of ways we can treat A-fib,” said Ilana Kutinsky, director of the new atrial fibrillation clinic and associate professor at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. “This includes prescribing medications to control the heart rhythm or rate; blood thinners and clot prevention drugs; or with minimally invasive procedures, such as implanted devices or catheter or surgical ablation. In treating A-fib, our goal is to relieve patients of their arrhythmias and ultimately minimize the risk of stroke.”

With atrial fibrillation, a person’s heartbeat is often very fast with atrial rhythms reaching between 300 to 400 beats per minute. The heart’s upper chambers (atria) are unable to pump blood effectively. When this occurs, blood may pool and form clots resulting in an increased risk for stroke.

Beaumont opened its first Atrial Fibrillation Clinic last October in the Ernst Cardiovascular Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

Beaumont’s Atrial Fibrillation Clinics use the most up-to-date technology and therapies and provide education to patients and their families throughout the course of treatment. The clinics offer various forms of testing to diagnose atrial fibrillation, including electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, stress testing, blood tests, computed axial tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging.

Clinic patients also have access to the latest  minimally invasive procedures. In March, physicians at Beaumont, Troy performed Michigan’s first minimally invasive robotic procedure to correct atrial fibrillation. The robotic maze procedure is an alternative to open-heart surgery. It’s performed through tiny, keyhole incisions with fewer complications and a shorter hospital stay.

Beaumont is Michigan’s, and one of the nation’s, most experienced providers of heart care, ranking on U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 “America’s Best Hospitals” list for cardiology and heart surgery. The Beaumont Heart Center is a comprehensive center dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart problems. Beaumont’s Ernst Cardiovascular Center includes six specialty clinics offering advanced and minimally invasive treatments for heart valve disease, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, aortic aneurysm and dissection, plus preventive screening for adults and high school students. Beaumont’s Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center is the first in Michigan devoted exclusively to the prevention, diagnosis, and research of heart disease in women.

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