Catheter Ablations

If you have been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia–a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat–your physician may recommend a procedure called catheter ablation to improve your condition.

Also known as a cardiac ablation or radiofrequency ablation, this procedure guides a tube into your heart to destroy small areas of heart tissue that may be causing your abnormal heartbeat.

Not everyone with a heart arrhythmia needs a catheter ablation. It's usually recommended for people with arrhythmias that can't be controlled by medication or with certain types of arrhythmia from the upper chambers of the heart. Less commonly, it may be recommended for people with arrhythmia that begins in the lower chambers of the heart.

What to Expect During Your Procedure

Catheter ablation can take anywhere from three to six hours. The procedure is usually done in an electrophysiology lab or operating suite where you will be monitored closely.

Most people do not feel pain during the procedure. You may sense mild discomfort in your chest. After the ablation is over, your physician will remove the guide wire and catheter from your chest.

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