What is Cardiac Ablation?
Every beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse. But sometimes, the impulse travels the wrong way, which can cause heart rhythm problems like palpitations, an irregular heartbeat, or sustained rapid heart rates—also known as arrhythmias.
Sometimes, an arrhythmia can be treated with medication. Other times it’s treated with catheter ablation, which uses a tiny tube to stop the electrical signals from traveling the wrong way.
Catheter ablation can often cure an arrhythmia completely, so patients no longer have any symptoms or need medications.
UR Medicine's Approach
At UR Medicine, catheter ablation is used to treat many rhythm problems, including supraventricular tachycardia (SVT—which results in a sustained rapid regular heart beat originating in the upper chamber of the heart), atrial fibrillation (which causes a fluttering sensation in the heart’s upper chambers) and ventricular tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat in the lower chambers of the heart that can be life threatening).
Catheter ablation is performed in the Electrophysiology Lab at UR Medicine. UR Medicine Cardiac Care has three fully equipped labs for ablation and device implants, staffed by nurses and technicians who work exclusively on heart rhythm disorders. Our newest lab features robot-aided navigation, which offers even greater precision, safety, and versatility.
Catheters (very thin tubes) are threaded through a small incision in the leg up to your heart. Your electrophysiologist uses electrodes on the end of each catheter to create tiny scars on the wall of your heart to keep its electrical impulses traveling in the right direction.
The procedure typically takes three to six hours. Most patients go home the same day, but some may need to stay overnight in the hospital.
What Sets Us Apart?
UR Medicine Cardiac Care is a world leader in heart rhythm disorders. Doctors here led research that has changed the way arrhythmias are treated around the world.
Other medical centers use our guidelines when deciding which patients need treatment for serious cardiac rhythm problems. We offer the most advanced and effective treatments for heart rhythm disorders and perform more of them than any other hospital in the Rochester area. In many cases, the treatments we provide are unavailable elsewhere in the region.
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