Atrial flutter ablation is a procedure used to correct atrial flutter by destroying small areas of tissue to block abnormal electrical circuits in the heart. Atrial flutter is an arrhythmia that is caused by abnormal electrical circuit in the upper chambers of the heart (atria). This allows signals to circulate in the atria causing more signals to reach the AV node. This causes a fast heartbeat.
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. These irregular heartbeats are called arrhythmias.
To perform this procedure, a catheter is threaded into the heart and the tip is guided into the atria. The catheter then emits a pulse of high-energy electricity that destroys a “line” of tissue in the atria that breaks the circuit. These lines form scar tissue that block abnormal signals. A normal heartbeat is then restored.
Visit Cardiac Care Network of Ontario for more information.