Mayo Clinic's approach

Mayo Clinic Minute: Identifying and treating atrial fibrillation

Mayo Clinic electrophysiologist Fred Kusumoto, M.D., explains what happens in the heart to create atrial fibrillation and what can be done to fix it.

Jeff Olsen: This is a normal heartbeat. [HEART BEATING] Atrial fibrillation interrupts this regular beat.

Fred Kusumoto, M.D., Cardiology, Mayo Clinic: In atrial fibrillation, instead of the atria squeezing in a normal regular fashion, the atria beat irregularly and chaotically.

Jeff Olsen: Dr. Fred Kusumoto is an electrophysiologist at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Kusumoto: In some cases people feel their heart palpitating or beating very, very fast or a flip-flop in their heart or chest area. Other times, people just notice that they're more short of breath when they walk upstairs.

Jeff Olsen: Dr. Kusumoto says atrial fibrillation decreases the heart's blood pumping efficiency and puts a patient at higher risk for blood clots, heart failure, and stroke. In some cases, atrial fibrillation can be corrected with medication or by administering a shock to a sedated patient's heart. In other instances, a procedure called catheter ablation may be used to scar tissue that's creating the erratic signals [HEART BEATING] in the hopes of getting back to that normal beat.

Experience and expertise

Ablation therapy involves a wide range of complex procedures that require highly skilled doctors. Mayo Clinic experts have extensive experience with these techniques. This depth of experience helps doctors provide exactly the care you need.


Mayo Clinic doctors trained in many specialties are trained in ablation therapy. They work as a team to care for people undergoing ablation therapy.

Advanced technology

People undergoing ablation therapy at Mayo Clinic benefit from Mayo's leading-edge treatment approach, including the latest in ablation methods and technology.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic experts in the electrophysiology lab Cardiac catheter team performs an ablation

A Mayo Clinic doctor performs a cardiac ablation procedure in the electrophysiology laboratory.

At Mayo Clinic, experts in several specialties provide compassionate, whole-person care to people who might benefit from ablation therapy.

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Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

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Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

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Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

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Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies of tests and procedures to help prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions.

April 12, 2024
  1. Cronin EM, et al. 2019 HRS/EHRA/APHRS/LAHRS expert consensus statement on catheter ablation of ventricular arrhythmias. Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology. 2020; doi:10.1007/s10840-019-00663-3.
  2. Feldkamp J, et al. Non-surgical and non-radioiodine techniques for ablation of benign thyroid nodules: Consensus statement and recommendation. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes. 2020; doi:10.1055/a-1075-2025.
  3. Cameron JL, et al., eds. Ablation of colorectal carcinoma liver metastases. In: Current Surgical Therapy. 14th ed. Elsevier; 2023. Accessed Nov. 3, 2023.
  4. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Therapy for cardiac arrhythmias. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 12th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2022. Accessed Nov. 3, 2023.
  5. Thermal ablation for tumor treatment. American College of Radiology. Nov. 3, 2023.