Catheter ablation is an interventional procedure to correct irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). It is sometimes called cardiac ablation or heart ablation. Arrhythmias are caused by faulty electrical signals in your heart. They can prevent your heart from pumping enough blood to the body. This can cause serious and life-threatening problems, including blood clots.
Call (702) 616-4900 or find a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals cardiologist online.
When Do You Need a Catheter Ablation Procedure?
Doctors use cardiac ablation to correct an abnormal heart rhythm. Your doctor will likely try other treatment options before recommending cardiac ablation. Cardiac ablation is used when:
- Medication hasn’t improved your arrhythmia
- Your type of arrhythmia responds well to ablation
- You are at high risk of complications from your arrhythmia
- You have had serious side effects from arrhythmia medicines
Cardiac ablation is also an emergency treatment for life-threatening arrhythmias.
What is It Like to Have Catheter Ablation at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals?
A cardiologist will perform your catheter ablation in a specialized lab at a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospital's San Martin or Siena Campus. This can be an electrophysiology lab (EP lab) or a cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab). The cath lab specialists will give you a sedative to help you relax during your procedure.
During catheter ablation, a thin tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery, usually in your groin. Using X-ray guidance, your doctor will gently move the catheter through the artery up to your heart. He or she will inject a dye to help see your heart better on X-rays. Once the catheter is in place, an energy source on the tip of the catheter destroys the diseased heart cells. The energy can come from:
- Cold (cryoablation)
- Heat (radiofrequency ablation)
The procedure can take a few hours. You’ll need to lie still for several hours afterward. Some patients stay overnight in a cardiac care unit.
Risks and complications of cardiac ablation include reactions to the dye, stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and heart or blood vessel damage.
Recovery & Next Steps after Catheter Ablation
After cardiac ablation, you’ll need to take it easy for a few days. Most people return to normal activities and work in a few days. Your doctor will tell you when it’s safe to resume exercise and other strenuous activities.
Cardiac ablation works for most people. Still, there is a chance that you will need another ablation or need to continue taking medication.
Keep your heart healthy by:
- Controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol, if you have either condition
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Staying physically active
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing stress
- Quitting smoking
We offer nutrition and fitness classes to help you on your heart-health journey.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican's San Martin and Siena hospitals' doctors perform catheter ablation in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.