Cardiac Ablation for an improved quality of life
An arrhythmia can greatly impact your quality of life. Some can even put you at risk for life-threatening conditions. At Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute, our cardiac electrophysiologists will work with you to determine the true cause of your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan based on the latest research and using the most advanced electrophysiology procedures and therapies. One of the treatments that may be recommended is cardiac catheter ablation.
Ablation may benefit patients by:
- Fully resolving the issue with their heart's electrical activity
- Freeing them from life-limiting symptoms
- Allowing them to stop rhythm medications and possibly blood thinners within months
Why choose KCHRI?
- Experts in complex electrophysiology cases – Dedicated to providing superior care for complex ablations and care for patients who have congenital heart disease, had multiple previous ablations, or prior heart surgery
- Cardiac electrophysiologists renowned in ablation research – Our electrophysiologists have authored over 200 publications on ablation and have been primary investigators on numerous clinical trials and EP studies about ablation procedures
Learn more about the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute. To make an appointment call:
What is heart ablation?
Cardiac ablation is a minimally invasive, painless, and low-risk procedure used to treat or cure several heart rhythm disorders. During the procedure, your electrophysiologist will insert one or more catheters (a thin, flexible tube) into a blood vessel in your groin. Then they will guide them up to your heart. Energy is then used to scar the tissue causing your abnormal heart rate.
Ablations can be divided into two general categories:
- Simple ablations – These are electrophysiology procedures that treat the one spot in the heart that created the abnormal rhythm. This type of ablation has been performed for over two decades.
- Complex ablations – These are electrophysiology procedures where multiple spots in the heart are treated. They are typically longer, more involved procedures.
At KCHRI we use various methods of ablation including:
- Radiofrequency ablation – Heat energy is used to destroy the cells causing the issue
- Cryoablation – Extreme cold is used to destroy the cells causing the arrhythmia
- New technologies available through clinical trials
You will be under general anesthesia when undergoing the electrophysiology procedure.
Time to complete procedure – about 2-4 hours
The electrophysiologists at Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute use leading-edge technology and electrophysiology procedures to deliver state-of-the-art care with the best possible patient outcomes. The use of these technologies can increase accuracy, one of the most important factors in the success of ablation. These cutting-edge technologies can help to:
- Improve success rates
- Decrease procedure time
- Reduce radiation exposure
- Lessen the possibility of complications
At KCHRI we use:
- 3D mapping – These systems are used to create a three-dimensional image of the heart and pinpoint the exact location of the catheter. They can also provide real time data so electrophysiologists can easily monitor patients during the electrophysiology procedure and can confirm that the ablation has been successful at blocking the electrical conduction.
- Robotic Catheter Navigation (Robotic Stereotaxis mapping and catheter ablation system) – These systems use two powerful magnets to maneuver catheters and perform highly detailed mapping and ablation of an arrhythmia. These systems are especially valuable when treating heart rhythm disorders related to adult congenital heart disease, ventricular arrhythmias or other arrhythmias that may begin in complex or hard to reach areas of the heart.
Is cardiac ablation right for me?
Cardiac catheter ablation is generally used to treat symptomatic, persistent arrhythmias when:
- Medications have not been successful
- Drug therapy is not an option
- You have an arrhythmia that has proven to respond well to ablation (may be used as a first line of treatment)
- You are at high risk for arrhythmia complications
Ablation can be used to treat the following arrhythmias:
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
- Atrial flutter
- Atrial tachycardia
- Atrial fibrillation
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)
- Other types of abnormal heart rates
As with any procedure, there are risks that should be discussed with your cardiac electrophysiologis. To find out if ablation is an option for you, find an electrophysiologist today.
Your KCHRI team will provide specific procedure preparation instructions, but generally they will include:
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.
- You may need to stop taking some prescription medications. Talk to your cardiac electrophysiologist about which ones you can and cannot take.
Recovery and Results
Cardiac ablation will usually require an overnight hospital stay for monitoring. You may experience some soreness or fatigue following the procedure, but it shouldn’t last more than a week. Some people report episodes of heart palpitations. This should subside as the heart heals. Most patients are able to return to normal activities within a few days.
Like any other electrophysiology procedure, results will vary based on a multitude of factors. Talk to your cardiac electrophysiologist about what results you can expect. Some patients may need a repeat procedure to resolve the heart rhythm disorder. Your KCHRI electrophysiologist will go over your results before you are discharged.