With more than a third of patients expected to endure the arrhythmia at any given time point, atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery becomes a vexing problem in the postoperative care of cardiac surgery patients. The impact on patient care covers a spectrum from the more common clinically insignificant sequelae to debilitating embolic events. Despite this, postoperative atrial fibrillation generally masquerades as being insignificant, or at most as an anticipated inherent risk, merely extending one's hospital stay by a few days. As an independent risk factor for stroke, early and late mortality, and being a multibillion dollar strain on the healthcare system annually, postoperative atrial fibrillation is far more flagrant than a mere inherent risk. It is a serious medical quandary, which is not recognized as such. Though complete prevention is unrealistic, a step-wise treatment strategy that incorporates multiple preventative modalities can significantly reduce the impact of postoperative atrial fibrillation on patient care. The aims of this review are to present a brief overview of the arrhythmia's etiology, risk factors, and preventative strategies to reduce associated morbidities. Newer anticoagulants and the potential role of these drugs on future treatment paradigms are also discussed.