Atrial Fibrillation Specialist

Heart Rhythm Associates, LLC

Van H. De Bruyn, MD, FACC, FHRS

General Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology located in Little Rock, AR

If you’re experiencing a heart rhythm disorder like atrial fibrillation, it’s essential to have the most experienced medical care available to manage your condition. Van H. De Bruyn, MD, has more than 20 years of advanced cardiology training and provides personalized and compassionate cardiac services for a wide range of conditions, including atrial fibrillation, in Central Arkansas at Heart Rhythm Associates LLC. To learn more about cardiology care in Little Rock and the surrounding area, call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Atrial Fibrillation Q & A

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the United States. This serious condition can increase your risk of serious heart-related complications, including stroke and heart failure.

When you have atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of your heart beat irregularly and out of sync with your heart’s lower chambers. This dysfunctional beating can lead to a wide range of symptoms and complications like the formation of blood clots.

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when they’re present they can include:

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

It’s also common to experience the sensations of heart palpitations in your chest, like racing, flip-flopping, or an irregular heartbeat.

Atrial fibrillation symptoms can come and go or remain consistent.

What causes atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is often caused by damage to or abnormalities in your heart structure. These heart changes can be related to:

  • Stimulants like caffeine, tobacco, and certain medications
  • High blood pressure
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Lung diseases
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attacks

Your chances of atrial fibrillation increase as you grow older, if you’re overweight, smoke, or have a family history of the condition. When left untreated, atrial fibrillation can lead to shortness of breath, disability, and is also a leading cause of stroke and heart failure.

How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

Dr. De Bruyn works closely with you to diagnose atrial fibrillation. In addition to a full physical exam and reviewing your medical history, he can also suggest a variety of tests, including:

  • Blood tests to check for underlying conditions
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the electrical activity in your heart
  • Echocardiogram to check your heart for physical abnormalities
  • Chest X-rays to evaluate the condition of your heart and lungs
  • Stress tests to measure your heart’s response to activity

Dr. De Bruyn also offers implantable monitoring devices to help diagnose atrial fibrillation.

How is atrial fibrillation treated?

As an expert in cardiology and rhythm disorders, Dr. De Bruyn provides a variety of management options customized to you and your specific condition. In most cases, his primary goal is to reduce your risk of stroke, prevent the formation of blood clots, and normalize and control your heart rate.

Treating your atrial fibrillation might include medications like blood thinners, or surgical procedures like ablation.

Call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.