Cardiac catheter ablation, which is a relatively non-invasive procedure, is used to treat abnormally rapid heartbeats that cannot be controlled with medication, or in patients that cannot tolerate these medications. This procedure can restore a normal heart rhythm and eliminate the need for open-heart surgery or long-term drug therapies.
During a cardiac catheter ablation, a long, thin tube is threaded into or onto the heart to destroy (ablate) the area of heart tissue that is causing abnormal heart rhythms.
Cardiac ablation catheters are used most often to treat abnormal rhythms that begin in the upper heart chambers (atria) including:
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
- Atrial tachycardia
- Atrial flutter