Overview of Ablation
Ablation (also called catheter ablation or radiofrequency ablation) is a technique used to treat abnormalities of the heart's electrical system that has caused the heart to beat fast, irregularly, or with too many extra beats. It involves ablating (destroying) a very small, targeted area of the heart muscle. By destroying the area responsible for the abnormal rhythm, ablation restores a normal heartbeat. Ablations are performed in a hospital's specialized cardiac catheterization laboratory by highly trained electrophysiology cardiologists.
Ablations are done using radiofrequency energy (similar to microwave heat). During radiofrequency ablation, a catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through a blood vessel into your heart. The electrode sends out radiofrequency energy that burns away the cells that are causing the fast or irregular heartbeat. The catheter is then removed from your body.
This image shows the ablation catheter in the heart. The sino-atrial (SA) node and the atrioventricular (AV) node are the natural pacemakers of the heart.
Ablation Video with Dr. John Day
Ablation in Depth
Learn more about ablation from Intermountain's Patient Education Library:
Learn what happens before, during, and after this procedure:
Please review the patient instructions from the cardiovascular cath lab, for important information on pre-registration, completing your health history form, and scheduling arrival times:
Where Do I Go?
Ablations are performed in a procedure room in the Cardiovascular Cath Lab. On the day of your procedure, you need to come to Intermountain Medical Center – Building 4 (Heart & Lung Center). Follow the signs to Patient Registration on the first floor. Once you are registered, we will take you to a room in our Cardiac Procedure and Recovery Unit. When it is time for your procedure, you will be taken to the CV Cath Lab.
If you have questions please call us: 801-507-4701.
Learn More About Our Heart Rhythm Program
Intermountain Heart Institute currently has one or more clinical trials that are enrolling patients who are undergoing ablation for atrial fibrillation. Learn more about our clinical trials.