We Can Help with Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a complex disease affecting five million men and women in the U.S., most of them over 60 years old. In fact, you have a one-in-four risk of developing atrial fibrillation in your lifetime. The earlier we diagnose and treat the disease, the more successful we are in helping patients experience longer, more enjoyable lives.


Have you or a family member been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation?

Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute uses a team approach that unites the skills of nationally recognized cardiac electrophysiologists, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. These specialists collaborate with your primary care physician to tailor atrial fibrillation treatment options to your unique needs.

Atrial fibrillation treatments at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute include:

Medical management:Medications are often the first line of defense when treating atrial fibrillation. Drugs are not a cure for atrial fibrillation, but in many cases they help to make the symptoms less bothersome.

Catheter ablation: A nonsurgical treatment option that locates and destroys abnormal electrical pathways in the heart that cause atrial fibrillation.
  • Radiofrequency ablation uses heat energy to destroy the abnormal electrical pathways
  • Cryoballoon ablation uses cryo or freezing energy to destroy the abnormal pathways
  • Pulsed field ablation uses pulsed electrical energy to destroy the abnormal pathways
Left atrial appendage closure: The left atrial appendage is a pocket-like section in the left atrium (upper chamber) of the heart that is often a source of blood clot formation for those with atrial fibrillation and may cause up to 90% of strokes due to atrial fibrillation. Closing the left atrial appendage can prevent blood clots that may cause a stroke. Treatment options that close the left atrial appendage include minimally invasive options using the WATCHMAN FLX™, AtriClip and Amulet devices.

Minimally invasive surgical options: Total thoracoscopic modified Maze (TTm Maze) and Convergent are minimally invasive procedures. They are used to treat chronic, long-standing or persistent atrial fibrillation.
  • TTm Maze may be an option for patients who still have symptoms after multiple catheter ablations.
  • TTm Maze and Convergent are staged and require two steps. In the procedures, a cardiac surgeon gains access to the heart through small incisions on the chest. Then, they create scars on the outside of the heart to disrupt the irregular flow of electricity that causes atrial fibrillation. Approximately three months later, a cardiac electrophysiologist performs a catheter ablation. They use radiofrequency energy to create scars on the inside of the heart to disrupt the irregular flow of electricity that causes atrial fibrillation.
  • Both TTm Maze and Convergent offer a “one-two punch” to eliminate atrial fibrillation.
Open heart surgery: The “classic” or “cut and sew” Maze procedure is performed through an open chest incision. Electrical blocks or barriers to prevent atrial fibrillation are created in the left and right atria (upper chambers) of the heart with the goal of eliminating atrial fibrillation.

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Make an Appointment

Whether you are experiencing symptoms that you do not understand, have already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or are looking for a second opinion, Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offers comprehensive expertise to you and your loved ones at multiple convenient locations. 

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

675 N. Saint Clair St.
Galter Pavilion, Suite 19-100
Chicago, IL 60611
312.NM.HEART (312.664.3278) (TTY: 711)

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
at Lake Forest Hospital

1000 North Westmoreland Road
Main Entrance
Lake Forest, IL 60045
847.53.HEART (847.534.3278) (TTY: 711)

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Central DuPage Hospital
25 N. Winfield Road
Winfield, IL 60190
630.232.0280 (TTY: 711)

Northwestern Memorial Hospital 312.NM.HEART (312.664.3278)Central DuPage Hospital 630.232.0280Lake Forest Hospital 847.53.HEART (847.534.3278)


Delnor Hospital 630.232.0280

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Kishwaukee Hospital
1 Kish Hospital Drive
DeKalb, IL 60115
815.748.5844 (TTY: 711)

USNWR Best Hospitals, Heart & Vascular -  2023-24

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked as a top ten program in the nation (No. 7) for cardiology, heart & vascular surgery by U.S. News & World Report, 2023-2024. Our impressive U.S. News & World Report achievements are a reflection of the expert care provided and why patients choose to get their heart and vascular seconds opinions from Northwestern Medicine.

  • Highest ranked cardiology, heart & vascular surgery program in Illinois for 16 consecutive years
  • Highest available cardiology, heart & vascular surgery patient survival score since the metric was introduced
  • Rated “High Performing” (the highest rating possible) for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, heart attack, heart failure and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
Kishwaukee Hospital 815.758.5844

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Delnor Hospital
300 Randall Road
Geneva, IL 60134
630.232.0280 (TTY: 711)

McHenry Hospital 815.759.8070Huntley Hospital 815.759.8070

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Huntley Hospital
10400 Haligus Road
Huntley, IL 60142
815.759.8070 (TTY: 711)

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at McHenry Hospital
4201 Medical Center Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
815.759.8070 (TTY: 711)

Palos Hospital 708.923.4200

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute 
at Palos Hospital
12251 South 80th Avenue, Suite 1520
Palos Heights, Illinois 60463
708.923.4200 (TTY: 711)

Atrial Fibrillation Patient Education Guide
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