Many arrhythmias can be controlled with medication. Commonly, arrhythmias that result in a high heart rate
can be treated with a beta blocker
. For atrial fibrillation
is a common prescription. As for surgical options, cardiac ablations can be done in the cardiac catherization lab. In this procedure the doctor can target the electrical pathway that is damaged or firing inappropriately, and surgically interrupt the signal and therefore stop the irregular heart rhythm. For atrial fibrillation, there is the MAZE procedure. In this open heart surgery, a scalpel is cut through the heart wall several times to segment and disrupt the electrical pathways. I've seen a few of these done but can't say I saw much immediate success.