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Atrial Fibrillation Health Center

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Vagal Maneuvers for a Fast Heart Rate - Topic Overview

Vagal maneuvers are used to try to slow an episode of fast heart rate. These simple maneuvers stimulate the vagus nerve, sometimes resulting in slowed conduction of electrical impulses through the atrioventricular (AV) node of the heart. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying these.

Vagal maneuvers that you can try to slow your fast heart rate include:

Recommended Related to Atrial Fibrillation

What Happens During Catheter Ablation for AFib?

Catheter ablation is a nonsurgical way to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heartbeat. It destroys the tissue that may be causing the heartbeat to get off course. This creates scar tissue inside your heart’s chambers. This scar tissue is a good thing. It will help your heartbeat stay in rhythm. Your doctor will not have to cut into your chest cavity to do this procedure. The catheter is a long, flexible tube that is inserted into a blood vessel and guided into your heart...

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  • Gagging.
  • Holding your breath and bearing down (Valsalva maneuver).
  • Immersing your face in ice-cold water (diving reflex).
  • Coughing.

Be sure to have your doctor show you how to do these procedures correctly.

In addition to these, your doctor may sometimes try another vagal maneuver (called carotid sinus massage) in the emergency room to help slow your heart rate. This technique should only be performed by a doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: 2/, 014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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