Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Atrial fibrillation ablation is a procedure used to correct atrial fibrillation by destroying small areas of tissue predominantly in the left atrium to block abnormal signals. Atrial fibirllation is an arrhythmia that is caused by abnormal signals that originate in multiple areas in the upper chambers of the heart (atria).

The electrical system of the heart controls each heartbeat. Electrical impulses generated by special tissue (nodes) travel set pathways through the heart causing the muscle to contract, or “beat”. When abnormal electrical signals interfere with the normal flow of impulses, an irregular heartbeat occurs, ie atrial fibrillation.

To perform this procedure, a catheter is threaded into the heart and the tip is guided into the atria. A transeptal is then performed to cross-over from the right atrium into the left atrium where the crux of the ablation is performed. The catheter then emits a pulse of high-energy electricity that destroys the “lines” of tissue in the atria. These lines form scar tissue that block abnormal signals. A normal heartbeat is then restored.

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