Cardiac ablation is a treatment for abnormal heart rhythms that are called cardiac arrhythmias. It aims to restore normal heart rhythms.
Your heartbeat is triggered by electrical impulses that take a specific pathway through your heart. An interruption to these impulses may cause an abnormal heartbeat such as an irregular or abnormally fast heart rate.
A cardiac ablation destroys or scars the tissue in your heart that is associated with the interruption of these impulse and your abnormal heartbeats.
What is an Ablation?
An ablation is a procedure that is usually recommended if your arrhythmia symptoms are impacting on the quality of your life and they haven’t responded to medication.
Abnormal heart rhythms can cause: palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath and a stroke.
An ablation aims to restore your regular heart rhythm and prevent these symptoms from occurring.
Typically, cardiac ablation is performed using long and flexible tubes, called catheters, that are inserted through your blood vessels into your heart. They pinpoint exactly where the arrhythmia is coming from and deliver hot or freezing cold energy to destroy the area of heart muscle that is causing the arrhythmia. Scar tissue from an ablation doesn’t conduct electricity and may be created to block an electrical signal so that it then travels over a normal pathway instead.
What does an Ablation surgery involve?
Cardiac ablation can be performed through open-heart surgery or non-surgically by catheter. Catheter ablation is more commonly performed as it is a less invasive procedure with shorter recovery times. The type of ablation performed will depend upon the type of arrhythmia diagnosed.
You will typically have a local anaesthetic and a sedative to relax you. Sometimes general anaesthetic is given.
Your cardiologist or doctor will insert one or more catheters through your blood vessel to the correct place in your heart. They do this using x-ray imaging called fluoroscopy that allows them to see your blood vessels and heart. The catheters have wire electrodes that can locate the source of your abnormal heartbeats.
An ablation catheter will be positioned near your abnormal heart tissue and it will use energy to destroy the abnormal tissue and create a scar called the ablation line. The energy can come from: extreme cold (cryoablation), heat (radiofrequency) or lasers.
Your doctor will then remove the catheters, close and bandage the opening.
What complications can happen after an Ablation surgery?
Catheter ablation has a high success rate of correcting many different types of arrhythmias.
Complications are extremely infrequent however as with any procedure there are potential risks. Some patients may experience pain, bleeding or infection at the sites where the catheters were inserted.
Other risks include: blood vessel or nerve damage, heart damage, new arrhythmias, blood clots, fluid build-up around your heart, a stroke or heart attack. Your doctor will discuss the procedure and all its associated risks in detail with you.
Recovering from an Ablation
After your catheter ablation, you will rest for up to six hours in recovery where your heartbeat and blood pressure will be monitored continuously.
Your doctor will advise you if you can go home on the same day, or if you will need to stay in the hospital overnight for continued heart monitoring. You will need to arrange someone to drive you home after your procedure.
You may feel a little tired and sore for a few days after your procedure.
Usually you can return to your normal activities within a few days after a cardiac ablation.
Ablation with Tees Valley Hospital
You can rest assured that you will receive the very best of care and support for your arrhythmia at Tees Valley Hospital, Teesside’s newest private hospital with state of the art facilities.
We are proud to work in partnership with highly qualified and experienced consultant cardiologists and doctors, pain management consultants, consultant radiologists and, compassionate nursing staff.
We provide easy access to convenient appointments with a cardiologist or doctor for catheter ablation treatment.
Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and we have comprehensive self-pay packages.
Contact us to book an appointment !