Catheter ablation is a non-surgical minimally invasive procedure that involves ablating (destroying) parts of an abnormal conduction pathway in the heart that is causing an arrhythmia. During the procedure, an electrophysiologist threads a catheter, which is a long, flexible wire, through a vein into the heart. The tip of the ablation catheter then delivers energy to the tissue in the target location, which disables it. This interrupts electrical conduction along the abnormal pathway and effectively puts an end to the arrhythmia.
Why catheter ablation?
Catheter ablation is an effective way of treating arrhythmias, and the procedure is fairly safe. Serious complications are very rare. When used to treat some types of tachycardia, for example those due to a re-entry circuit or an accessory pathway, success rates are often better than 90%.
Many patients choose catheter ablation because it is a low-risk procedure that may cure their arrhythmia. It also helps them avoid having to take medication for the rest of their lives and allows them to lead a more active life.
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