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Catheter Ablation

With catheter ablation, also called radiofrequency ablation, a catheter (a thin plastic tube) is advanced intravenously into the heart, where special sensors inside the catheter record information or reproduce the arrhythmia to identify its precise location.

Since most arrhythmias are triggered in very small areas of the heart, finding their exact location is key to eradicating them. If an arrhythmia site is identified, our electrophysiologists can deliver high frequency, or radiofrequency energy that “disconnects” the arrhythmia’s electrical pathway.

Catheter ablation often requires a one-night hospital stay. Anticipated results depend on the nature of the arrhythmia targeted; however, for the most common arrhythmias, our success rate at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt is in the 90 to 98 percent range.

Catheter ablation has also been applied to treating atrial fibrillation, also called AFIB, a difficult to control arrhythmia that has a much more complex mechanism and involves different areas of the heart. Using catheter ablation to treat atrial fibrillation has been a revolutionary advance in therapy, and it has successfully controlled or eliminated atrial fibrillation in a substantial number of patients who have had had this procedure.

Ideal candidates for catheter ablation to treat atrial fibrillation include patients who have paroxysmal AFIB without major structural heart disease. Selected patients with persistent AFIB may be also be candidates. If atrial fibrillation is chronic, our electrophysiologists will discuss alternative therapies with you.

For a referral to an expert cardiologist at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, call 877.996.9334.

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