Cardiac Ablation

Cardiac Ablation is done by scarring or destroying the tissue causing or sustaining an abnormal heart rhythm thus preventing abnormal signals causing arrhythmia.

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The symptoms that indicate the requirement of Cardiac Ablation are:

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Skipped beats
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Excessive sweating with rapid breathing and heart beat

 

Prior to treatmen, it is essential to carry out the following methods of diagnosis:

  • ECG
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Physical examinations

 

Sedatives and pain killers are administered first, then through IV line fluids & medication is administered. A clean, numb area in neck or groin is used to make a hole in blood vessel through which a series of catheters is introduced to the correct place.

Some catheters have electrodes that record and locate the abnormal heart beat. The machine then sends RF waves, extremely cold temperature or laser light to scar the tissue to form an ablation line that checks the abnormal electric signals.

 

The complications involved in Cardiac Ablation are:

  • Blood clot
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the heart valves
  • Heart attack
  • Nerve damage
  • Damage to other adjoining structures

 

The patient may experience fatigue for 2-3 days after treatment. Sometimes, there may be irregularity in heart beat for which the doctor will give suitable medication.

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Cardiac Ablation

Cardiac Ablation is done by scarring or destroying the tissue causing or sustaining an abnormal heart rhythm thus preventing abnormal signals causing arrhythmia.

Symptoms

The symptoms that indicate the requirement of Cardiac Ablation are:

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Skipped beats
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Excessive sweating with rapid breathing and heart beat

 

Diagnosis

Prior to treatmen, it is essential to carry out the following methods of diagnosis:

  • ECG
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Physical examinations

 

Treatment

Sedatives and pain killers are administered first, then through IV line fluids & medication is administered. A clean, numb area in neck or groin is used to make a hole in blood vessel through which a series of catheters is introduced to the correct place.

Some catheters have electrodes that record and locate the abnormal heart beat. The machine then sends RF waves, extremely cold temperature or laser light to scar the tissue to form an ablation line that checks the abnormal electric signals.

 

Risks

The complications involved in Cardiac Ablation are:

  • Blood clot
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the heart valves
  • Heart attack
  • Nerve damage
  • Damage to other adjoining structures

 

After Procedure

The patient may experience fatigue for 2-3 days after treatment. Sometimes, there may be irregularity in heart beat for which the doctor will give suitable medication.

FAQ Section

1) What is catheter ablation?

Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used in the treatment of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat caused due to atrial fibrillation. A catheter ablation works by sending radio waves to a specific part of the heart. These waves work by raising the temperature of the part of your heart that is causing the problem.

2) How do you know if this treatment is right for you?

Catheter ablation is recommended as a last resort Atrial Fibration (AFib), only when conservative treatment methods have failed to reduce symptoms and the condition is interfering with your daily life.

Catheter ablation may also be recommended if drugs used to treat the underlying condition cause side effects severe enough for the drugs to be stopped. 

3) What is the process of having this procedure?

First of all, you will need to visit the clinic or hospital where a nurse will provide you information about the procedure and the preparatory measures you will have to take – including what precautions you have to take before the procedure and what drugs and medications to take or avoid before the process.

On the day of the procedure, you will be taken into a prep area where you will have to sign a consent form and the accompanying nurse will answer any further doubts you may have regarding the procedure. 

4) How long does a catheter ablation take?

The procedure can take anywhere from 3-4 hours, depending on the patient’s condition and if any complications occur during the process. This time includes the time required to prepare the patient for the procedure. However, it excludes recovery time.

5) Will you be awake during the procedure? 

The procedure generally doesn’t make use of general anaesthesia, so you might be awake during most of the procedure. However, you will be in a phase called “twilight sleep” and may not remember anything from the procedure.

 

6) Will you feel pain during or after the procedure?

There might be some pain during the procedure, however severe pain will not be felt due to your dampened consciousness.

After the procedure, some residual pain may be felt, however it is usually controlled with narcotic or non-narcotic painkillers. Any remaining pain will subside over days to weeks following the procedure.

7) How long will you have to be at the hospital after the procedure?

At the very least, you will need to stay in the hospital overnight after the procedure. You might be discharged the day after, if your doctor feels you are out of danger. However, if post-surgical complications develop, a prolonged hospital stay may be necessary to treat the complications. 

8) How long will it take for the patient to feel better?

Often, post-surgical atrial fibrillation persists in patients who have undergone catheter ablation. This is mostly because scar tissue takes about three to four months to develop and only after this period will the procedure be fully effective.

You will not be able to lift or pull anything or drive up to three days after the procedure. Pain and bruising at the site of the incision is common and may take a few days to heal.

 

9) How will you know if the procedure worked? 

Assessment of the patient’s condition is only done three months after the procedure as the effects are fully seen only after this period. In a follow-up appointment after three months, the doctor will be able to tell you how effective the procedure was.

 

10) Do you need to have more than one catheter ablation?

In a small number of cases, the atrial fibrillation may be persistent, requiring a number of repeat procedures to treat the cause and reduce risk of complications.

However, in most cases, if the patient is in an overall healthy state, a single procedure is enough to treat the problem.

 

11) What is the cost of catheter ablation in India? 

In India, catheter ablation may cost anywhere from 1-2.5 lakhs, depending on the hospital and the surgeon involved.