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Radiofrequency ablation is a nonsurgical procedure used to treat irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), such as atrial fibrillation (AFib). Radiofrequency ablation works by destroying cells within the heart that create abnormal electrical impulses.
At Dignity Health of Arizona, our doctors are highly trusted in matters of the heart. With a full range of cutting edge services, we are a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care. To learn more about radiofrequency ablation in Arizona, Find a Doctor online or call 844.231.0659.
Pacemaker cells are specialized cells that control your heart rhythm by sending electrical impulses across the heart. As these impulses travel they cause different parts of the heart to contract in a particular rhythm. An irregular heartbeat occurs when the pacemaker cells are not working correctly. At times, these cells are working together in small groups to send the errant signals. Radiofrequency ablation can be used to silence those cell clusters, restoring your heart rhythm to normal.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed at one of our hospitals. Before the procedure begins you will be given a sedative. Once you are sufficiently relaxed, your doctor will thread a long, flexible tube (catheter) to your heart through a vein in your arm, groin, or neck. This catheter has an electrode at the tip that creates heat energy using radio waves, which kills the cell groups that are causing your arrhythmia. The procedure is painless, but you may feel a faint burning sensation.
Following the procedure, your cardiac team will keep you in bed for several hours for monitoring. Pressure will be applied to the point of entry of the catheter to help close the puncture wound. Depending on your condition, you may be able to return home the same day.
Your doctor will give you post surgery instructions detailing everything you need to know about your recovery process. Be aware that you will not be able to drive immediately, so arrange for someone to drive you home. If you have any abnormal symptoms, such as fever or pain and swelling of the incision site, contact your doctor. While radiofrequency ablation does have a high success rate, you may need additional treatment to correct your heart arrhythmia.
Does your abnormal heart rhythm have you concerned about your heart health? Try our free cardiovascular risk educational tool. This tool helps you assess your cardiovascular health and identify medical and lifestyle conditions that may lead to cardiovascular problems later. It will also educate you on the many ways Dignity Health can assist you in treatment and prevention with humankindness.