What are the risks of having a heart ablation procedure?


Quick Answer

A cardiac ablation can cause infection at the catheter site, a heart attack, damaged blood vessels and heart valve damage, states Mayo Clinic. The risk of complications may be greater for patients with kidney disease or diabetes.

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Full Answer

A cardiac ablation is used to scar areas of the heart that are involved in problems with its rhythm. The procedure can prevent abnormal rhythms or electrical signals from traveling through the patient's heart, according to the National Institutes of Health. Cardiac ablation is generally safe, and complications are rare.

Before her procedure, a patient should tell her provider what medications she is currently taking, including non-prescription medication and herbal supplements. It is especially important for the medical staff to know about any blood thinners. A patient who smokes should stop smoking and should tell her provider if she has a fever, a cold or any other illness, advises the National Institutes of Health.

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