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.

ablation
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

Learn about Ablation Therapy

Catheter Ablation

If you have been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia–a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat–your doctor may recommend a procedure called catheter ablation to improve your condition. Facts a...

Learn about Heart Care

How Much Do You Know About Coronary Artery Disease and Angioplasty?

How Much Do You Know About Coronary Artery Disease and Angioplasty? Coronary artery disease (CAD) plays a major role in the leading cause of death in this country: heart attack. CAD is also known as ...

Heart Disease: How Disease Management Helps

Regular physical activity and a heart-healthy diet are two essential components of managing heart disease. On some days, though, it may be difficult to keep up with your exercise routine or meal plan....

What is an Arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia? An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause problems with contractions of the heart chambers by: Not allowing the ventricles (lower chambers) to fill w...

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation? Normally, the heart pumps in a well-timed fashion. The two upper chambers (atria) contract first followed by the two lower chambers (ventricles). This coordinated pumping ...

Cardiac Rehabilitation

What is cardiac rehabilitation? Cardiac rehabilitation is a program to help people who have heart disease. It is overseen by a health care provider. People in this program may have had a heart attack ...

Heart Valve Diseases

What are heart valves? The heart consists of four chambers--two atria (upper chambers) and two ventricles (lower chambers). There is a valve through which blood passes before leaving each chamber of t...

Cardiac Condition and Diseases

Many cardiac conditions require clinical care by a physician or other heart care professional. Listed in the directory below are some of these conditions, for which we have provided a brief overview. ...

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. The force is generated with each heartbeat as blood is pumped from the heart into the blood vessels. ...

What is a Heart Attack?

What is a heart attack (myocardial infarction)? A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by ...

Carotid Artery Disease

What is carotid artery disease? Carotid artery disease, also called carotid artery stenosis, occurs when the carotid arteries, the main blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the brain, become n...

Chest Pain- Does This Describe Your Symptoms?

Return to Index Does this describe your symptoms? Click image for more info Definition Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or other pain in the chest This includes the area from the clavicles...

High Cholesterol

Does this test have other names? High-density lipoprotein cholesterol What is this test? An HDL cholesterol test measures the amount of high-density lipoprotein ("good") cholesterol in your blood. Hig...