Why it's done
When your heart beats, the electrical impulses that cause it to contract must follow a precise pathway through your heart. Any interruption in these impulses can cause an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), which can sometimes be treated with cardiac ablation.
Ablation isn't usually your first treatment option. Ablation is a treatment option for people who:
- Have tried medications to treat an arrhythmia without success
- Have had serious side effects from medications to treat arrhythmias
- Have certain types of arrhythmias that respond well to ablation, such as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
- Have a high risk of complications from their arrhythmia, such as sudden cardiac arrest
- 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.