Catheter Ablation Procedure: What you need to know
Friday, February 16, 2024
Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib).
1. What is AFIB?
It is a common type of heart arrhythmia that causes the heart to beat irregularly. It occurs when the upper chambers of the heart no longer contract in coordination.
2. What are the symptoms?
This can occur without symptoms or may make you feel tired, lightheaded, short of breath or a fluttering sensation in your chest.
3. Is AFib dangerous?
When your heart beats irregularly with AFib, it can lead to blood clots, especially in the left atrial appendage (LAA) of the heart. In this scenario, you are five times more likely to have a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat. Although blood thinners can reduce your risk of stroke, medications create other dangers, including bleeding.
4. Are patients awake during the procedure?
Patients receive medication to help them relax. A local anesthetic will numb the site where the catheter is inserted. Occasional general anesthesia is used.
5. How is a catheter ablation performed?
Thin, flexible tubes called catheters are inserted into a vein in the groin and move into the heart. There is an electrode at the tip of each catheter. The electrode sends radio waves that create heat. The heat is delivered to the heart tissues that causes AFib. You can watch a video explaining the procedure by clicking here.
6. How long is the patient in the hospital?
If performed as an outpatient you may go home the same day or be discharged the next day.
7. Who performs the procedure?
The EP team.
Make an appointment
Talk to your doctor to determine if catheter ablation is right for you.