Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive treatment that uses heat or cold energy to create tiny scars in your heart that interrupt the abnormal electrical impulses responsible for arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Catheter ablation is recommended by the American College of Cardiology, the Heart Rhythm Society and the American Heart Association for arrhythmia patients when medication proves to be unsuccessful.
Ablation is usually performed as an extension of a diagnostic electrophysiology study, which stimulates the heart to pinpoint where the heart's electrical system is abnormal. To perform the procedure, a physician inserts a catheter (thin, flexible tube) into a blood vessel and guides it into the heart using imaging equipment. Catheter ablation doesn't require a general anesthetic or stopping the heart and most patients can go home the same day as treatment or the following day.
Inova performs catheter ablations in state-of-the-art electrophysiology labs (EP labs) equipped with the most advanced 3-dimensional mapping equipment to help guide the procedure and track the location of each ablation that is applied to the heart.
Conditions Treated by Ablation
Ablation is used to treat some arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart rhythms. With an arrhythmia, the heart may not able to pump blood normally. Depending on the type of arrhythmia, this situation can lead to a variety of symptoms, including heart failure, stroke, fainting, or even cardiac arrest.