What Is Heart Ablation Surgery?


Quick Answer

Heart ablation surgery, or cardiac ablation, is a procedure used to treat heart rhythm problems, according to MedlinePlus. Small wires called electrodes are placed in the heart by inserting long flexible tubes through a vein in the groin.

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What Is Heart Ablation Surgery?
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Full Answer

The electrodes can also be used to eradicate bad parts of the heart. As a result of cardiac ablation, abnormal electrical signals or rhythms can be prevented from moving through the heart. Cardiac ablation, otherwise called catheter ablation, relies on the scarring or destruction of tissue that triggers abnormal heart rhythms. Sometimes performed through open-heart surgery, cardiac ablation can also be performed using minimally invasive techniques that involve catheters, adds Mayo Clinic.

Usually, ablation is not the first treatment option to correct arrhythmia, according to Mayo Clinic. It is generally recommended for patients whose current medications are inadequate, those with serious side effects from arrhythmia medications or those who have a high risk of developing problems associated with their arrhythmia. The procedure typically lasts four or more hours. Patients undergoing surgery can experience symptoms during the procedure, including a fast or stronger heartbeat, light-headedness and burning. Two to three days after the procedure, patients may experience tiredness, an aching in the chest and skipped heartbeats.

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