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Catheter Assisted Procedures for Heart Ablation

Catheter ablation is a procedure in which a small catheter is placed inside the heart (via a leg vein). The catheter has a 4-8 mm metal tip through which radio-frequency (or cryothermal) energy is delivered to selected parts of the heart. (The area to ablate is selected primarily by two simple strategies: vector analysis of the how the arrhythmia activates the heart (ie…north-south, east-west) and secondly, by moving the ablation catheter in a “warmer-colder” trial-and-error manner.) The 4-8 mm ablation lesions can eliminate rogue cells that have electrically run amok, or in the case of AF, isolate areas of the heart.

Catheter ablation is the only cardiac procedure that can be correctly called curative.  (No, stents do not cure atherosclerosis.)