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 causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat when the heart's electrical signals become chaotic and disorganized between the upper and lower chambers.
SVT refers to a fast or erratic heartbeat in your heart's upper chambers.
VT occurs when the heart's lower chambers beat too rapidly.
Arrhythmias cause symptoms such as:
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.
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.
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.