Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of arrhythmia that may cause symptoms like heart palpitations and shortness of breath. When other medical interventions fail to relieve your symptoms, Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC, and Ashok Talreja, MD, FACC, FHRS, at Premier Cardiac and Vascular in Springfield and Fredericksburg, Virginia, may recommend atrial fibrillation ablation. This minimally invasive procedure helps the heart maintain normal rhythm, reducing AFib symptoms. To find out more about atrial fibrillation ablation and how it may help you, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Atrial fibrillation ablation is a procedure for AFib, an arrhythmia that causes an irregular or erratic heartbeat.
Normally, the rhythm of your heart is set by a group of cells in the upper right atrium — the sinoatrial (SA) node. In AFib, the rhythm of the heartbeat starts in another part of the atria, causing an irregular heartbeat.
During atrial fibrillation ablation, the Premier Cardiac and Vascular team uses a special tool to burn or freeze specific areas of the heart, creating scar tissue that disrupts the electrical signal that causes the arrhythmia.
The team at Premier Cardiac and Vascular determines if you’re a candidate for atrial fibrillation ablation after a consultation. Not everyone with AFib needs this procedure.
The team may consider you a candidate for the ablation if your AFib causes unpleasant symptoms, like shortness of breath or heart palpitations, or oral medications fail to control the rhythm of your heart.
The team customizes your atrial fibrillation ablation procedure and reviews the details during your pre-surgical consultation.
The procedure takes anywhere from 2-6 hours. They may give you general anesthesia so you’re asleep throughout the procedure.
After injecting a local anesthetic into your groin to numb the area, the team makes several holes in a blood vessel and puts tapered tubes (sheaths) through the holes. Then, they insert a series of electrode catheters through the sheaths and advance them towards your heart.
Once the electrodes are at your heart, they use advanced technology to map the heart and find the area of the heart causing the abnormal heartbeat. Then, they place a catheter at the site of the abnormal tissue and burn or freeze it.
Finally, the team removes the tubes, closes the wounds, and sends you to the recovery area for monitoring.
You may need to spend the night at the hospital following your atrial fibrillation ablation. The team requests taking it easy for a few days at home. They also provide specific instructions about medications, diet, and wound care to support healing and heart health management.
To learn more about atrial fibrillation ablation, schedule a consultation at Premier Cardiac and Vascular by calling the office or booking online today.