Catheter ablation is a minimal invasive curative therapy for abnormal heart rhythms. The procedures are same-day surgery with minimal or no recovery time.
What Happens During Ablation?
During an ablation procedure the doctor insert catheters (thin, flexible tubes) into the heart. These catheters are connected to specialized equipment that allow the heart rhythm specialist determine the anatomic location and source of the patients arrhythmia. After determining this information, The doctor precisely applies either heat or a freezing coolant to the tissue rendering either abnormal electrical signals quiet or permanently disconnecting the extra electrical pathways that cause arrhythmia.
What Types of Heart Rhythms Are Treated?
The heart’s impulses usually travel down an electrical pathway through the heart. When this happens the atria and ventricles work together to pump blood through the heart.
The types of heart rhythms treated with ablation include:
- AV Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia (AVNRT) - When an extra pathway lies in or near the AV node, causing the impulses to move in a circle and re-enter areas it already passed through.
- Accessory Pathway - When extra pathways that connect the atrium and ventricles cause signals to travel back to the atrium, making it beat faster.
- Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter - When extra signals from different parts of the atrium cause the atria to beat rapidly (atrial flutter) or quiver (atrial fibrillation).
- Ventricular Tachycardia - A rapid rhythm that prevents the heart from filling with enough blood, and less blood is able to circulate through the body.
How Successful is This Procedure?
The success rate of the procedure depends on the type of catheter ablation procedure that is performed and the individual patient. For most arrhythmias, successful cure of the arrhythmia is 98-100%.
What Are the Risks?
This procedure is generally very safe but as with any other type of procedure, there are always risks. Please discuss with your doctor these risks.
To determine if the catheter ablation procedure is appropriate for a patient, the evaluation may include the following:
- Review of your medical history
- Complete physical exam
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Echocardiogram (Echo)
- Holter monitor test
- Other tests if needed
How Can I Schedule an Evaluation?
Our experts at Sinai Heart Rhythm Center can be accessed for an appointment by calling 410-601-9355 (WELL).