Can You Have a Catheter Ablation Procedure to Cure a Heart Arrhythmia?


Quick Answer

Catheter ablation successfully treats arrhythmias in about 90 percent of patients who have the procedure, states the American Heart Association. Doctors perform catheter ablation procedures to treat abnormal heart rhythms if medications are ineffective or cause the patient unwanted side effects.

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Full Answer

Catheter ablation uses a special catheter to direct radiofrequency energy to abnormal cells in the heart that cause the abnormal rhythm, according to the American Heart Association. This radiofrequency energy destroys the abnormal tissue, allowing the heart to beat normally. Catheter ablation has a low risk of complications and is typically performed using local anesthetic and mild sedation. The procedure generally takes two to four hours, and most patients return home the same day.

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