Conditions Treated With Cardiac Ablation
Cardiac ablation treats arrhythmias that are not being properly controlled by medications. Some types of arrhythmia can be life-threatening; the types of arrhythmias and other heart conditions we treat with cardiac ablation include:
What to Expect
The surgeon provides specific instructions to the patient before the ablation procedure and explains risks such as bleeding, infection, or adverse reaction to anesthesia.
Patients also meet with the anesthesiologist before the surgery to review their medical history. Patients should not eat after midnight the night before the surgery.
On the day of surgery, a nurse reviews the patient’s charts to make sure there are no problems.
The anesthesiologist then starts a local anesthesia IV, and the patient is taken to the operating room. The procedure begins once the anesthesia is in effect.
The cardiologist makes a tiny incision in the groin or wrist to access a vein or artery and inserts a thin, flexible tube or pacing electrode (catheter). The cardiologist guides the catheter to the heart, then places small electrodes in various areas of the heart to find the source(s) of the irregular heartbeat. When the areas are located, the cardiologist uses the catheter to send heat or cold energy to the areas to scar or destroy them.
When the procedure is complete, all catheters and guidewires are removed, and the small incision is closed with stitches.
After the procedure, patients are taken to the postoperative recovery area and monitored. Pain is likely, and pain medication is given as needed.
The length of the hospital stay depends on how quickly the patient is able to recover and perform some physical activity.
As one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, UT Southwestern offers a number of clinical trials aimed at improving the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Our Heart Rhythm Management team is involved in numerous trials of new treatments and devices, which means our patients have the first available access to novel technologies such as next-generation pacemakers and defibrillators.