Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive curative therapy for abnormal heart rhythms. The procedure is a same-day surgery with minimal or no recovery time.
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 to determine the anatomic location and source of the patient's arrhythmia. The doctor then precisely applies either heat or a freezing coolant to the tissue. This has the effect of either rendering abnormal electrical signals quiet or permanently disconnecting the extra electrical pathways that cause arrhythmia.
The success rate of the procedure depends on the type of catheter ablation procedure that is performed and the individual patient. For most arrhythmias, there is a 98 to 100 percent success rate.
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 abnormal heart rhythms treated with ablation include:
- AV Nodal Re-entrant Tachycardia (AVNRT) - 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 - 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 - 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 prevents the heart from filling with enough blood, and less blood is able to circulate through the body.
An evaluation will determine if the catheter ablation procedure is appropriate for you. This evaluation may include:
- A review of your medical history
- A complete physical exam
- An electrocardiogram (ECG)
- An echocardiogram (Echo)
- A holter monitor test
- Other tests as needed
Schedule an Evaluation
Schedule an appointment with the Ben and Zelda Cohen Heart Rhythm Center by calling 410-601-9355 (WELL).