Your child might need to stop taking their medicines before ablation therapy. Your child’s doctor will tell you about this before the procedure.
Usually, your child will not be able to eat or drink anything for about 6 to 8 hours before ablation therapy.
Tell your child’s doctor if your child has a cold, fever, or other sickness that day.
Ablation therapy takes about 2 to 4 hours. These are the steps:
- A kind of medicine called a sedative is given to the child to help them relax.
- The skin on the child’s arm, neck, or leg is cleaned, and a medicine is given to numb that area.
- A small cut is made in the child’s skin, and a thin tube is put through the cut into a blood vessel.
- The doctor uses x-ray pictures to guide the tube through the child’s blood vessels into their heart.
- Wires are placed in the child’s heart through the tube. At the ends of the wires are electrodes that measure electrical activity. This shows which part of the heart is causing the irregular heartbeat.
- The doctor uses heat or cold to destroy that small part of the heart. This is not painful for the child.
- The tube and wires are removed, and a bandage is put on the cut.
After ablation therapy, the child must lie still for a few hours, and they will be watched carefully. They might go home the same day or spend the night in the hospital.
A child that has had this therapy will have a checkup with their doctor in about 2 weeks.
Call the child’s doctor if they have any of these problems after ablation therapy:
- Swelling, tingling, or numbness near the cut in the skin
- Chest pain that is also in the jaw, neck, or arm
- Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach or throwing up)
- Sweating a lot
- Feeling so dizzy that they need to lie down
For a few days after ablation therapy, your child might have these symptoms:
- Achiness in the chest
- Bruising or bleeding where the skin was cut
If your child has bleeding from the cut, have them lie down and press firmly on the area. If the bleeding doesn’t slow down, call 911.