Catheter Ablation

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an abnormal heartbeat, also referred to as arrhythmia, cardiac catheter ablation may be right for you – particularly when medication to control it has been unsuccessful. Catheter ablation is frequently used to correct a common arrythmia called atrial fibrillation, or Afib.

Our minimally invasive approaches to treating arrhythmia.

If medicine hasn’t worked to control your arrhythmia, if you can’t take medicine to control it or if you have certain types of arrhythmias, your cardiologist may recommend cardiac catheter ablation for your arrythmia if:

  • Medicine hasn’t controlled it.
  • You can’t take medicine to control it.
  • You have certain types of arrythmia.

Types of catheter ablation

We have successfully performed catheter ablation on thousands of patients using one of two widely accepted techniques.

Radiofrequency ablation: This uses heat to eliminate the diseased heart tissue and create specific scars that correct the electrical signals and pathways causing the irregular heartbeat.

Cryoablation: The opposite of radiofrequency ablation, this relies on very low temperatures to freeze and ultimately repair the parts of the heart that are causing the erratic disruption.

What to expect during the procedure

First, the patient is sedated for their comfort. Then a catheter (a thin, long tube) is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin and slowly guided to the heart and the specific site of the problem.

The procedure can take up to six hours. The patient is closely monitored and cared for by a team of heart doctors the entire time.

Depending on the type of ablation performed, patients may be able to leave the hospital the same day. Sometimes they stay overnight in the hospital for monitoring.

Are you a candidate for catheter ablation?

There are many factors that can put you at risk of irregular heartbeat, such as:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Untreated diabetes
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Caffeine, nicotine and drug-use
  • Thyroid problems

For many patients, medication and/or lifestyle changes may be the best course of action. Sometimes catheter ablation is needed to get better results. What is best for you depends on your unique condition and goals. Let’s work together to help you find the right solution for your arrythmia.

Our electrophysiology locations

To find out if catheter ablation could help get your Afib or other heart rhythm disorder under control, call the location nearest you and schedule a consultation:


Learn more about how Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular uses evidence-based, minimally invasive treatments when possible to help get your heart back in rhythm.

Learn More