Know How Cardiac Ablation Aids in Treating Heart Disease Called Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Cardiac ablation is usually performed for a heart disease called abnormal heart rhythm. This procedure is done only when all other medical options used to treat an abnormal heart rhythm has not shown satisfactory results.
What is Cardiac Ablation?
Your heart always has a strong and a steady beat. The heart’s electrical system controls the beat. However, at times this system misfires thus causing a heartbeat that is too fast and not steady. In cardiac ablation, the tissues in your heart that causes an abnormal heart rhythm is scarred or destroyed. Ablation stops this abnormal rhythm by preventing abnormal electrical signals from traveling through your heart. Cardiac ablation procedure is commonly performed using catheters, which makes the procedure less invasive and also shortens recovery time in patients. Rarely this is done through an open-heart surgery.
What are the Risks of a Cardiac Ablation Procedure?
Catheter ablation is considered to be safe. But like most medical treatments and surgeries, even an ablation procedure, though rare, has its own share of risks. They include:
- Stroke or heart attack
- Puncture of the heart
- Problems with the pulmonary vein
- A leaking blood vessel
- Atrio-esophageal fistula. This is a life-threatening condition in which a hole is formed between the heart's upper chamber and the esophagus.
- Bleeding at the site where catheter was inserted
- Kidneys may suffer damage from dye used during the procedure
- Damage to heart's electrical system, which may make arrhythmia worse and require a pacemaker to correct
If the patient is diabetic or has any kidney disease, the risk of having these complications may increase. The risk of complications from cardiac ablation is higher if the patient is 75 years or above.
Cardiac ablation is not an option for some people, including those who have a history of bleeding problems or have a blood clot in the left atrium of the heart.
Cardiac Ablation Procedure
- Cardiac Ablation is performed in a hospital.
- Thin, flexible wires-catheters are inserted into a blood vessel in the neck or leg and then is threaded up into the heart by a doctor.
- The doctors can see where to move the catheters with the help of an X-ray.
- The catheters use very hot or very cold temperatures to destroy the areas in the heart that are causing the abnormal heart rhythm problem.
If the first cardiac ablation does not get rid of an abnormal heart rhythm completely then a second attempt may be required. Sometimes, repeated ablations are required to achieve a greater chance of curing this type of heart disease.
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