Catheter ablation in arrhythmia
Depending on activity level the hearts bits about 60 to 100 times per minutes. It may be higher during exercise or lower at rest. A normal heart rate ensures delivery of oxygen to all of the body’s organs such as the brain and lungs.
A group of cells in the heart called a cardiac conduction system uses electrical impulses to control the speed and rhythm of each heartbeat.
An abnormal heart rate or rhythm called arrhythmia occurs when there is a problem with a heart’s conduction system.
Tachycardia is a type of arrhythmia when the heart bits too fast. Fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia when a heart bits irregularly and may be too fast.
For certain types of arrhythmias a catheter ablation procedure may be necessary to stop the heart tissue from causing the arrhythmia.
After numbing a small area in the groin with a needle the doctor will insert a short tube called a catheter sheath in to the femoral vein. Next a long flexible tube called a catheter will be inserted through the sheath. The doctor will guide the catheter to the heart through the blood vessels that goes to the heart called the inferior vena cava. The location and progress of the catheter will be monitored. When the catheter reaching the heart the doctor will guide it to the area that is causing the arrhythmia. The doctor will find the problem area with using the 3D heart map of the electrical activity of the patients’ heart.
The tip of the catheter will imitate either heat energy called radiofrequency energy or cold energy called cryoablation to ablate the tissue in this area. Ablation makes the treated areas stop working.
For an atrial arrhythmia a doctor will ablate the atrial tissue causing it. If the affected tissues are small well defined areas the procedures is called focal ablation. In case if affected tissues are larger areas with more complex rhythm disturbances the doctor may perform a procedure called ablation remodeling. Both types of ablation restore normal electrical impulses and prevent an arrhythmia from happening.
If the cause of the arrhythmia is in the ventricle the doctor can do either focal ablation or ablation remodeling to treat more complex arrhythmia of the ventricle.