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What Is Ablation Therapy?

Cardiac catheter ablation is just one of a number of terms used to describe this procedure that treats arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythms). Other common terms are: radiofrequency ablation, cardiac ablation, or simply ablation.

Normally, electricity flows throughout the heart in at a regular pace, which is the basis for heart muscle contractions. Sometimes, the electrical flow gets blocked, creating something of a “short circuit” that can disturb normal heart rhythms. When medicine doesn’t help, the most effective treatment is to destroy the tissue housing the short circuit is cardiac ablation.

Catheter ablation is one of several treatments for arrhythmia. Your doctor may recommend it if:

•  The medicines you take don’t control your arrhythmia
•  You can’t tolerate the medicines your doctor has prescribed for your arrhythmia
•  You have certain types of arrhythmia that require ablation over other treatments, such as Wolff Parkinson-White Syndrome or chronic arrhythmias