Understanding Catheter Ablation
If you have been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia near Phoenix , one treatment your heart doctor may recommend is catheter ablation. This procedure destroys heart tissue that is causing your arrhythmia using radiofrequency energy and is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If your heart doctor has recommend that you undergo catheter ablation, here is a look at what you can expect.
What Happens During the Procedure?
During catheter ablation , you will first receive a local or regional anesthetic and, in some cases, medication to help you feel relaxed. Your heart doctor will insert the catheter through a vein—usually one in your groin—and guide it to your heart using X-ray images. Once in place, the catheter will record electrical signals in your heart to help your doctor locate the arrhythmia. Then, the tip of the catheter will deliver radiofrequency energy to the problem area to block the abnormal signals. As your heart forms scar tissue in the treatment area, the abnormal signals should stop. The catheter will be left in place to continue recording activity to ensure there are no other arrhythmias. Although procedures vary, catheter ablation can take up to a few hours.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Your heart doctor may recommend catheter ablation if your arrhythmia hasn’t responded to medication or if you can’t tolerate the medicine you’re taking for your arrhythmia. This procedure is also used as a first-line treatment for certain types of arrhythmias, especially those that can lead to ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac arrest.
What Happens During the Recovery?
The recovery from catheter ablation is usually fast, and most people can resume normal activities in a few days. You may have some bleeding and discomfort where the catheter was inserted. In some cases, catheter ablation completely resolves the arrhythmia, while in other cases, patients may need additional treatments or to have the ablation repeated.
Catheter ablation is just one procedure we perform at Cardiac Solutions to treat heart arrhythmia patients. If you have heart disease, ask your doctor to refer you to one of our cardiologists or call us at (623) 876-8816 to schedule a consultation.