Cardiac ablation is a medical procedure that is used to treat certain types of heart rhythm problems, such as atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, and ventricular tachycardia. The procedure involves destroying or removing small areas of heart tissue that are causing abnormal electrical signals to be sent through the heart. This can help to normalize the heart’s rhythm and reduce the frequency and severity of heart rhythm problems.
There are several different techniques that can be used during cardiac ablation, including:
- Radiofrequency ablation: This technique involves using high-energy radio waves to heat and destroy the abnormal heart tissue.
- Cryoablation: This technique involves using extreme cold to freeze and destroy the abnormal heart tissue.
- Laser ablation: This technique involves using a laser to vaporize the abnormal heart tissue.
- Irrigated radiofrequency ablation: This technique involves using a special catheter that is cooled to protect healthy heart tissue while the radiofrequency energy is applied to the abnormal tissue.
Cardiac ablation is typically performed by a team of specialists, including a cardiologist and an electrophysiologist. The procedure is usually done using local anesthesia and mild sedation, and typically takes several hours to complete.
After the procedure, patients may need to stay in the hospital for a short period of time for observation and to ensure that their heart rhythm has returned to normal. It is common to experience mild discomfort and swelling in the chest and neck after the procedure, and patients may be prescribed medications to help manage these symptoms.
Overall, cardiac ablation can be a highly effective treatment option for certain types of heart rhythm problems. However, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with a healthcare provider to determine if it is the right treatment option for you.