What is Cardiac Ablation?
Cardiac ablation is a medical procedure used to treat certain heart rhythm disorders, also known as arrhythmias. There are several types of cardiac ablation, each targeting different areas of the heart. The specific type of ablation recommended depends on the type and location of the arrhythmia. Here are some common types:
1. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA):
This is the most common type of cardiac ablation. It uses radiofrequency energy to destroy the abnormal heart tissue causing the arrhythmia.
In this procedure, extreme cold (using a freezing agent like liquid nitrogen) is used to create scar tissue and block abnormal electrical signals in the heart.
3. Laser Ablation:
A laser catheter is used to destroy or modify the problematic heart tissue.
4. Microwave Ablation:
This technique uses microwave energy to heat and destroy the abnormal heart tissue.
5. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Ablation:
HIFU uses focused ultrasound waves to create heat and destroy the abnormal tissue in the heart.
The success rate of cardiac ablation varies depending on the specific arrhythmia being treated, the location of the abnormal tissue, and individual patient factors. In general, success rates for ablation procedures are quite high, with success rates ranging from 70% to over 90% in most cases. However, it’s important to note that success rates can vary and that multiple ablations may be necessary in some cases.
As for symptoms, arrhythmias can manifest in different ways, depending on the specific type of arrhythmia and its severity. Some common symptoms associated with arrhythmias include:
1. Palpitations: A sensation of fluttering, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.
2. Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling breathless during physical activity or at rest.
3. Fatigue: Unexplained tiredness or lack of energy.
4. Dizziness or lightheadedness: Feeling faint or dizzy.
5. Chest pain: Discomfort or pain in the chest, often described as a pressure or squeezing sensation.
6. Fainting or near-fainting: Loss of consciousness or feeling close to losing consciousness.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms or suspect you may have an arrhythmia. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment, including cardiac ablation if necessary.