Cardiac ablation is a procedure used to treat heart arrhythmias -- which are abnormal heart rates and rhythms -- including atrial fibrillation. During cardiac ablation, specialized instruments are used to safely destroy the precise area in the heart muscle where the abnormal heart rhythm begins. As a result, the rhythm returns to normal.
Having any type of heart intervention can be overwhelming, but you can rely on the heart specialists at Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology. Our physicians are experts who are dedicated to treating heart arrhythmias. Your treatment is delivered with compassion and using cutting-edge technology that delivers optimal results.
Catheter ablation uses long, narrow, flexible tubes that are inserted through a vein in your groin, neck, or forearm, then they’re carefully threaded up to your heart. Once the device is in place, the doctors used specialized technology to create a three-dimensional map of your arrhythmia, which shows them the exact area to target.
Your doctor at Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology will use one of two types of energy used to eliminate cells in the heart muscle -- cryoablation or radiofrequency ablation -- which are both delivered through the flexible tubes. Cryoablation uses extreme cold delivered through hollow needles, while radiofrequency relies on heat energy to destroy the targeted tissue.
Your heartbeat and blood pressure will be constantly monitored for 4-6 hours after the procedure, then you can go home. It’s normal to feel tired and have some discomfort for a few days. You should be able to get back to normal activities within a week, but each person’s recovery is different, and you may need to avoid some strenuous activities. Your doctor will give you detailed instructions before you leave the clinic.
You’ll need to be patient, because it takes your heart about three months to fully heal. During that time, you may still experience some arrhythmia or heart palpitations. It’s also critical to take the medications exactly as they’re prescribed to prevent blood clots, at least until you’re well down the road to recovery, and the doctor determines you no longer need anticoagulant therapy.
For more information on this procedure click here to view an informative video.