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The Atrial Fibrillation Wellness Program at Southcoast Health

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat, which is called arrhythmia. The electrical system of the heart creates electrical impulses that help it contract in a steady rhythm and pump blood throughout your body. AFib occurs when your heart’s electrical system is not working correctly, potentially causing serious health problems, including stroke.

Southcoast Health offers our Atrial Fibrillation Wellness Program in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island as a unique approach to disease management. It combines the latest technologies and procedures with a strong focus on lifestyle modification to prevent and decrease the burden of AFib.

Dr. Nitesh Sood is the director of the Afib Wellness Program. He works jointly with our team of electrophysiologists to provide the highest-quality care to help patients manage their AFib.

What Are Symptoms of AFib?

While some people may never know they have an irregular heartbeat, symptoms of AFib can include:

  • Lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Lower extremity swelling
  • A feeling that your heart has skipped a beat or is beating too rapidly
  • Chest pain or discomfort with palpitations (commonly known to be associated with AFib)

Patients can undergo cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation, such as pulmonary vein isolation, with cryoablation and hybrid atrial fibrillation ablation.

Find an electrophysiologist near you to learn more about AFib or join our program.

Treat AFib through Our Wellness Program

With a particularly high rate of AFib in the South Coast region, the Atrial Fibrillation Wellness Program seeks to educate patients and the local physician community on the prevention and management of this disorder.

This comprehensive program is designed to identify high-risk patients and streamline their access to care, offering tools that help reduce the risk for AFib through education, exercise, lifestyle changes and social supports, including those listed below.

Medical Fitness Program

Patients will work with medical fitness experts through a comprehensive exercise program that’s designed with a careful emphasis on typical AFib risk factors. This three-month program incorporates a regimen of exercising twice a week and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Yoga & Meditation

In a randomized control study, yoga has been shown to decrease frequency and severity of AFib episodes. Join our yoga instructor with on-site quarterly yoga classes specifically designed for patients with AFib. Yoga and meditation, along with breathing exercise, can also help patients cope with anxiety and alleviate day-to-day stresses, which can further exacerbate AFib.

Nutrition Counseling & Diet Control

Our team also includes certified nutrition counselors who have designed a special diet program to reduce AFib and cardiovascular disorder risk factors. Created with local flavors and cuisine in mind, this program allows patients to learn how they can enjoy their favorite foods prepared in a healthier way.

In addition, we also offer a wellness initiative, which includes:

  • Yoga and meditation classes
  • Sleep apnea program
  • Access to a physician on-call 24/7
  • Support groups

Sleep Apnea Center

Sleep apnea is a frequently under-diagnosed condition in patients with AFib and has emerged as one of the most prominent risk factors. Southcoast Health, in collaboration with a sleep apnea program, offers sleep studies to quickly diagnose and treat people with sleep apnea.

Our Team

The Atrial Fibrillation Wellness Team consists of group of physicians and staff who are dedicated to helping you live well with atrial fibrillation.

As part of our cardiology and wellness and prevention services, Southcoast Health serves patients with AFib in Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford and Wareham, MA, as well as surrounding Rhode Island areas.