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Atrial fibrillation ablation is a technique doctors use to restore your heart to a regular rhythm. Atrial fibrillation (or cardiac ablation) is an irregular and rapid heart rhythm. It occurs when the two upper chambers of your heart, the atria, beat out of synch with the two lower chambers, the ventricles.
Initial treatment for atrial fibrillation is usually medication. If medications cannot control your heart rate or you have serious side effects, the next treatment may be electrical cardioversion. This uses electric shocks to stimulate your heart back into a regular rhythm.
You may need atrial fibrillation ablation if your heart doesn’t respond to medical or electrical cardioversion and your symptoms are affecting your quality of life, or if your cardiologist is concerned about your risk of heart attack.
The most common method of ablation uses a catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube) inserted through an artery. Ablation is not open heart surgery. However, if you are undergoing heart surgery for another reason, such as heart valve repair, the cardiovascular surgeon may choose to perform the ablation during the surgery.
Find a cardiologist associated with St. Rose Dominican hospitals or call (702) 616-4900 for a referral to a cardiologist to learn more about your options for heart and vascular care and treatment, including atrial fibrillation ablation, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
During atrial fibrillation ablation, the cardiologist will use X-ray equipment and a special dye to see your blood vessels and heart and monitor the catheter. After making a small incision in your groin to access the femoral artery, the cardiologist threads the catheter through the artery to the area of your heart causing the abnormal heartbeat. An ablation device at the tip of the catheter will direct heat, laser, or freezing sources to create scar tissue, blocking the signals causing the abnormal heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation ablation can take from two to four hours, sometimes longer.
Your care team will monitor you closely for about four to six hours after an ablation, with regular checks of your blood pressure and heart rate. You will have a pressure bandage on the incision. It will be a few days before you can perform strenuous activities.
If your atrial fibrillation limited your activities, you may find that after ablation, your quality of life will improve as you are able to resume the activities you enjoy.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican offers special care for patients undergoing atrial fibrillation ablation in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.