What You Need to Know About Specialized Ablations
Ablation is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. The type of arrhythmia and the presence of other heart disease will determine whether ablation can be performed surgically or non-surgically.
Different Types of Ablations:
- Non-surgical ablation: used for many types of arrhythmias, is performed in a special lab called the electrophysiology (EP) laboratory. During this non-surgical procedure a catheter is inserted into a specific area of the heart. A special machine directs energy through the catheter to small areas of the heart muscle that causes the abnormal heart rhythm. This energy “disconnects” the source of the abnormal rhythm from the rest of the heart. It can also be used to disconnect the electrical pathway between the upper chambers (atria) and the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart.
- Surgical Ablation: procedures used for treating atrial fibrillation can be “minimally invasive” or traditional “open” surgery and may be combined with other surgical therapies such as bypass surgery, valve repair, or valve replacement.
Why Do I Need Ablation Therapy?
Doctors recommend ablation therapy to treat:
- Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter
- AV Nodal re-entry tachycardia (AVNRT)
- Accessory pathways
- Ventricular tachycardia
In addition to re-establishing a normal heart rhythm in people with certain arrhythmias, ablation therapy can help control the heart rate in people with rapid arrhythmias, and potentially reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes.