Health Topics

Heart Ablation Procedures

Look up a term in The Heart Center glossary.

An ablation procedure is a non-surgical treatment for people with certain abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia). An arrhythmia can sometimes be controlled by medication.  But if medicine is not successful, or if the side effects of the medicine or taking the medicine itself become troublesome, your doctor may recommend ablation.  

The ablation procedure involves placing a long flexible wire (catheter) through blood vessels and into the heart to get rid of (or ablate) the precise area of the heart causing the arrhythmia.  This area can be removed using either radiofrequency (RF) ablation or cryoablation. The doctor will choose which method to use based on the area of the heart where the arrhythmias are located.

  • Radiofrequency uses a high-energy source to get rid of the area.
  • Cryoablation uses very cold temperature to do the same.
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Reasons for an Ablation Procedure

Description of an Ablation Procedure

Medications and an Ablation Procedure

After an Ablation Procedure

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Last Updated: 09/2014