PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What is ablation for treating atrial fibrillation?

ANSWER

It uses energy to destroy tiny areas of your heart muscle that set off the irregular rhythm. A doctor does the procedure in spots where atrial fibrillation (AFib) starts, which is often in your pulmonary vein. That's the blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to your heart. It's rare, but sometimes you may need to have ablation of the AV node. It's the place that electrical signals pass through as they travel from the upper to the lower heart chambers. Doctors may do ablation there if you have very rapid AFib that you can't control with medication. But if you get the procedure in your AV node, your heartbeat may become too slow. You'll need to get a pacemaker put into your chest.

SOURCES:

AHRQ: "Radiofrequency Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation: A Guide for Adults."

American Heart Association: "Non-surgical procedures for atrial fibrillation," "What is Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?"

Cleveland Clinic: "Pulmonary vein isolation ablation."

Haegeli, Laurent M. , July 2014. European Heart Journal

January, Craig T. , 2014. Circulation

Massachusetts General Hospital: "Catheter Ablation for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation."

Mount Sinai St. Luke's: "A patient guide to atrial fibrillation and catheter ablation."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Does a Pacemaker Work?" "How Will a Pacemaker Affect My Lifestyle?" "What are the Risks of Pacemaker Surgery?" "What to Expect During Pacemaker Surgery."

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons: "HRS/EHRA/ECAS Expert Consensus Statement on Catheter and Surgical Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation: Recommendations for Personnel, Policy, Procedures, and Follow-Up."

The University of Chicago Medicine: "Surgical Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on December 4, 2017

SOURCES:

AHRQ: "Radiofrequency Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation: A Guide for Adults."

American Heart Association: "Non-surgical procedures for atrial fibrillation," "What is Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)?"

Cleveland Clinic: "Pulmonary vein isolation ablation."

Haegeli, Laurent M. , July 2014. European Heart Journal

January, Craig T. , 2014. Circulation

Massachusetts General Hospital: "Catheter Ablation for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation."

Mount Sinai St. Luke's: "A patient guide to atrial fibrillation and catheter ablation."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Does a Pacemaker Work?" "How Will a Pacemaker Affect My Lifestyle?" "What are the Risks of Pacemaker Surgery?" "What to Expect During Pacemaker Surgery."

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons: "HRS/EHRA/ECAS Expert Consensus Statement on Catheter and Surgical Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation: Recommendations for Personnel, Policy, Procedures, and Follow-Up."

The University of Chicago Medicine: "Surgical Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on December 4, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What happens during ablation for atrial fibrillation?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.