What is heart arrhythmia?
Heart arrhythmia refers to problems with your heart’s rhythm that can cause it to beat too fast, slow, or irregularly. Heart arrhythmias occur when there are disruptions to the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats.
There are a number of issues that can cause your heart to beat abnormally. Problems like coronary artery disease and hyperthyroidism can affect the normal functions of the heart. Abnormal cells can also disrupt the normal functions of the heart and disorganize electrical impulses.
Patients with heart arrhythmia frequently experience fluttering in the chest, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.
If you experience symptoms, book an appointment with ECCA as soon as possible. A prompt diagnosis can help you avoid a number of serious health complications like stroke and heart failure.
What is radiofrequency ablation for arrhythmia?
Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment used to correct abnormal heart rhythm. Radiofrequency ablation is a type of cardiac ablation treatment used when other methods like medication fail to control your condition.
Radiofrequency ablation uses radiofrequency energy to destroy areas of heart tissue responsible for your irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia.
How is radiofrequency ablation performed?
Although radiofrequency ablation can be performed through open-heart surgery, it is most commonly performed through catheters.
Prior to the procedure, you undergo several tests at ECCA to evaluate the health and function of your heart. Depending on your condition, your doctor may require a stress test or nuclear stress test.
For radiofrequency ablation, you receive a sedative that helps you relax but allows you to stay awake during the procedure. In some cases, general anesthesia may be used to prevent any pain or discomfort. Once the sedative takes place, your doctor begins to insert the catheters through an access vein in your groin, neck, or forearm.
Your doctor guides the catheters through your vein until they reach the heart. They locate the abnormal heart tissue by sending small electrical pulses through the catheters. Once located, radiofrequency energy is applied to destroy the tissue.
Radiofrequency ablation takes two to four hours and can take place as an in-patient or outpatient procedure. Afterward, you and your doctor discuss follow-up treatment like medication and lifestyle modifications to help keep your heart healthy.
To speak with a doctor about radiofrequency ablation for your heart arrhythmia, call ECCA or book an appointment online today.