Cardiac ablation does carry risks, which include:
- Bleeding at the site where your catheter was inserted
- Damage to your blood vessels where the catheter may have scraped as it traveled to your heart
- Puncture of the heart
- Damage to your heart's electrical system, which could worsen your arrhythmia and require a pacemaker to correct
- Blood clots, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke
- Narrowing of the veins that carry blood between your lungs and heart (pulmonary vein stenosis)
- Damage to your kidneys from dye used during the procedure
Your risk of having these complications may increase if you have diabetes or kidney disease. You also have a greater risk of complications from ablation if you're 75 or older.
- Catheter ablation. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/ablation/ablation_all.html. Accessed March 10, 2011.
- Ganz LI, et al. Catheter ablation for ventricular arrhythmias. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 15, 2011.
- Cheng J, et al. Radiofrequency catheter ablation to prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 15, 2011.
- Ganz LI. Catheter ablation of cardiac ablation: Overview and technical aspects. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 15, 2011.
- Ablation. American Heart Association. http://americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=6. Accessed March 15, 2011.