Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a common heart condition that causes an irregular and often rapid heartbeat. While medication can be effective for managing AFib symptoms, some people may benefit from a procedure called catheter ablation. In this blog post, we’ll explore who should have an AFib catheter ablation and how it works.
Who Should Have an AFib Catheter Ablation?
AFib catheter ablation is a procedure that involves using radiofrequency energy to destroy the abnormal heart tissue that is causing the irregular heartbeat. The procedure is typically recommended for people with symptomatic AFib who have not responded well to medication or who cannot tolerate the side effects of medication.
In general, candidates for AFib catheter ablation include people who:
- Have symptomatic AFib that is affecting their quality of life
- Have not responded well to medication or who cannot tolerate the side effects of medication
- Are relatively young and otherwise healthy
- Have a low risk of complications from the procedure
It’s important to note that catheter ablation is not suitable for everyone with AFib. Your doctor will consider your overall health and medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
How Does AFib Catheter Ablation Work?
AFib catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically performed in a hospital. The procedure typically takes several hours to complete, and you will be given sedation to help you relax during the procedure.
During the procedure, a thin, flexible catheter is inserted into a vein in your groin and guided up to your heart. The catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to the abnormal heart tissue, which destroys the tissue and helps to restore a normal heart rhythm.
After the procedure, you will be monitored for several hours to ensure that your heart rhythm has stabilized. You may need to stay overnight in the hospital, but most people are able to go home the next day.
While AFib catheter ablation is generally safe and effective, there are some risks associated with the procedure. These include bleeding, infection, and damage to the heart or blood vessels. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you and help you weigh the potential benefits and risks of the procedure.
In conclusion, AFib catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that can be effective for managing symptoms of AFib in some people. If you are experiencing symptoms of AFib, talk to your doctor about whether catheter ablation may be right for you.