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Our Services / Cardiac Ablation

Cardiologist, Electrophysiology & Interventional Cardiology located in Ladera Ranch, CA & Irvine, CA

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Cardiac Ablation

After you learn you have an irregular heartbeat, medications may take care of the problem. But when you have a severe arrhythmia, or it doesn't improve, you may need a cardiac ablation to cure the underlying problem. The board-certified cardiologists at Coastal Cardiology of Orange County have helped many patients recover from an arrhythmia with a minimally invasive cardiac ablation procedure. To learn more about your treatment options, call the office in Ladera Ranch or Irvine, California, or book an appointment online today.

Cardiac Ablation Q & A

What is cardiac ablation?

Cardiac ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to correct an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Coastal Cardiology of Orange County often performs cardiac ablations to treat three types of arrhythmias:

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat when the heart's electrical signals become chaotic and disorganized between the upper and lower chambers.

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)

SVT refers to a fast or erratic heartbeat in your heart's upper chambers.

Ventricular tachycardia (VT)

VT occurs when the heart's lower chambers beat too rapidly.

What symptoms indicate I may need a cardiac ablation?

Arrhythmias cause symptoms such as:

  • Fluttering sensation in your chest
  • Rapid or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue

All types of arrhythmia prevent your heart from pumping blood normally. However, ventricular tachycardia is one of the most dangerous. If it lasts too long, it can cause cardiac arrest.

What happens during a cardiac ablation?

During this procedure, your provider makes a very small incision, usually in your groin, and inserts a slim catheter into a blood vessel. Using real-time X-ray imaging, they guide the catheter through the blood vessels and into your heart.

When the catheter is in place, they may send dye through the catheter and into the blood vessels, so they show up clearly on the X-ray. Then they use the catheter to record your heart’s electrical impulses, mapping the electrical system and identifying the area causing the arrhythmia.

After they target the small area of your heart responsible for your arrhythmia, they use the catheter to release radiofrequency energy (heat) or cryoablation (extreme cold). The treatment destroys the targeted area, which restores a normal heart rhythm.

What happens after a cardiac ablation?

Your cardiac ablation may take 3-6 hours, depending on the type of arrhythmia. Many people can go home the same day. However, some may need to stay overnight in the hospital.

You may feel slightly sore for about a week, but you can get back to your normal daily activities in a few days. You need to avoid heavy lifting for a week.

If you need treatment for arrhythmia and would like to learn more about cardiac ablation, call Coastal Cardiology of Orange County, or book an appointment online today.