September is National AFib Awareness Month.

What is AFib?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common heart rhythm disorder in America, and it occurs when the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat out of rhythm. This means blood is not pumped efficiently to the rest of the body, causing an unusually fast heart rate, quivering, or thumping sensations in the heart.

AFib is a progressive disease and, if left untreated, may worsen over time — leading to increased risk of stroke and heart complications. AFib episodes often take place without you knowing. These are called asymptomatic episodes. Even asymptomatic AFib episodes can be serious and may lead to complications. Detecting and treating your AFib earlier may result in better outcomes, reduced symptoms, and improved quality of life.

Normal heartbeat

A small pulse of electric current spreads quickly through the heart to make the muscle contract.

Atrial fibrillation

In AFib, the heart's upper chambers beat faster than the rest of the heart.

How do I know if I have AFib?

AFib symptoms vary depending on how advanced your AFib is, its cause, and your overall health. You may notice:

  • Irregular, rapid, fluttering, or pounding heartbeats
  • Fatigue, shortness of breath, or weakness
  • Chest discomfort
  • Dizziness

You may not realize what it is, and only be aware that you don't have as much energy as usual or that you simply don't feel like yourself. It is important to get diagnosed as soon as possible to limit the damage AFib may cause to your heart.

If you've experienced any of these symptoms, print this discussion guide to bring to your next doctor's appointment.

I may have AFib, now what?

If you have AFib, or your doctor suspects that you do, long-term heart monitoring may help.

Many people living with AFib have experienced peace of mind with long-term heart monitoring, which helps your doctor know if you have AFib, how well your treatments are working, and whether to try a new approach. Learn more about suspected AFib and the benefits of long-term heart monitoring by downloading the brochure.

What is my AFib burden?

AFib burden is the amount of time you are in AFib over a period of time.

  • Number of episodes (those you feel and those you do not feel)
  • How long your AFib episodes last

Medtronic insertable heart monitors send valuable information to help your doctor measure your AFib burden and make decisions about your medications and treatments, like blood thinners or ablation.1-5

What are my treatment options?

Treating AFib early is important, as AFib can worsen over time. If you have been diagnosed with AFib, a catheter ablation procedure may be right for you. Cardiac ablations are minimally invasive procedures that are performed in a hospital setting. With a short recovery time, most people return to normal activities within a few days after having cardiac ablation, but you should avoid heavy lifting for about a week. Learn about two safe and effective options that are FDA approved for the treatment of AFib.

Couple on a beach with a blanket and taking a selfie photograph with their phone and beach in the background

Arctic Front Cryoablation System

The Medtronic Arctic Front™ cryoablation system is a safe and effective treatment for AFib. It is the only catheter ablation option to control your heart's rhythm before or after trying medications. The Medtronic cryoballoon is an inflatable balloon that uses cold energy to remove heat from the tissue that is causing irregular heartbeats and disable unwanted electrical signals.

DiamondTemp Ablation System

The Medtronic DiamondTemp™ ablation system is a safe and effective option that is FDA approved for the treatment of paroxysmal AFib as an alternative after medication to control your AFib. The procedure uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to heat the tissue through the DiamondTemp ablation catheter. The heat creates scar tissue, or lesions, that disables unwanted electrical signals that cause AFib.

Talk to your doctor today to learn more and discuss which treatment option may be right for you. Not every person will receive the same results.

Find a doctor

Find a doctor for long-term heart monitoring

Enter your ZIP code to find a doctor near you who is experienced in long-term heart monitoring to diagnose and manage AFib.

Find a cardiac ablation physician

Enter your ZIP code to find a doctor near you who is experienced in cardiac ablation procedures to treat AFib.

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Contact us

It is important for you to get the right answers to your questions. Talk to your doctor if you have questions, or contact Medtronic Patient Services.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.



Witkowski M, Bissinger A, Grycewicz T, Lubinski A. Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation in patients with atrial fibrillation and implanted pacemaker. Int J Cardiol. January 15, 2017;227:583-588.


Passman R, Leong-Sit P, Andrei AC, et al. Targeted Anticoagulation for Atrial Fibrillation Guided by Continuous Rhythm Assessment With an Insertable Cardiac Monitor: The Rhythm Evaluation for Anticoagulation With Continuous Monitoring (REACT.COM) Pilot Study. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. March 2016;27(3):264-270.


Zuern CS, Kilias A, Berlitz P, et al. Anticoagulation after Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation Guided by Implantable Cardiac Monitors. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. June 2015;38(6):688-693.


Mascarenhas DAN, Farooq MU, Ziegler PD, Kantharia BK. Role of insertable cardiac monitors in anticoagulation therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation at high risk of bleeding. Europace. June 2016;(18)6):799-806.


Pothineni NVK, Amankwah N, Santangeli P, et al. Continuous rhythm monitoring-guided anticoagulation after atrial fibrillation ablation. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. February 2021;32(2):345-353.