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Ablating The Heart: Who performs cardiac ablation, its purpose, types, benefits, and risks

Ablating The Heart: Who performs cardiac ablation, its purpose, types, benefits, and risks

Ablating The Heart: Who performs cardiac ablation, its purpose, types, benefits, and risks

Ablating The Heart: Who performs cardiac ablation, its purpose, types, benefits, and risks

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  • A procedure known as cardiac ablation is carried out by cardiologists to treat the condition.
  • Hybrid ablationIn hybrid ablation, the area of interest is ablated without opening the heart.
  • The following are the benefits of cardiac ablation, according to Dr. Mohit Tandon.
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An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that causes the heart to beat too quickly or irregularly in a disorderly manner. Such abnormal rhythms can lead to a fall in blood pressure that can cause fainting or syncope and may also cause cardiac arrest in dangerous rhythm disorders like ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia if they persist for an extended period of time. A procedure known as cardiac ablation is carried out by cardiologists to treat the condition known as abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. During this procedure, either heat or cold energy is used to create tiny scars in your heart’s areas that are responsible for the abnormal beats or rhythms.

Why does cardiac ablation take place?

“Radio frequency ablation (RFA) is a technique that is used to deliver radio frequency energy to a tissue, which heats the tissue and causes cell death,” Dr. Pradeep Kumar D, Senior Consultant – Interventional Cardiology at Aster CMI Hospital in Bangalore, explained in an interview with HT Lifestyle. When there is an electrical rhythm disturbance in the heart, this type of treatment is used.

He went on to say that “conditions like paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias, atrial tachycardias, atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation, right ventricular outflow tract ventricular tachycardias, and scar related reentrant tachycardias” call for RFA to be performed. Either automatic foci in the heart or reentrant circuits, like short circuits, cause abnormal electrical impulse conduction in all of these conditions. In a nutshell, the goal of these procedures is to stop electrical signals from passing through short circuits. By delivering RF energy, abnormal electrical current-conducting tissues are burned and rendered electrically inoperable, thereby preventing such short circuits.

According to Dr. Mohit Tandon, a Consultant Non-Invasive Cardiologist at Fortis Escorts Hospital in New Delhi’s Okhla, you might be recommended cardiac ablation if: – You have previously been prescribed medications that are unable to control the condition.

If the rhythm control medications are causing you to experience unacceptable side effects.

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SVT and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are two specific arrhythmic conditions for which ablation is effective.

If you are extremely susceptible to arrhythmia-related complications like cardiac arrest.

Types:

When discussing the various forms of cardiac ablation, Dr. Mohit Tandon emphasized:

  1. Catheter ablation
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The most common type of procedure is catheter ablation, in which a flexible wire (catheter) is inserted through a vein to deliver either hot or cold energy to the target area.

  1. 2. Surgical ablation

If you need an ablation procedure as part of a heart surgery, also known as a maze procedure, the cardiac surgeon will create a scar pattern in your heart chambers (atria) that looks like a maze to prevent the generation of abnormal signals while still allowing normal signals to pass through, which will result in a normal heart rhythm. This is frequently used to treat atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the heart beats irregularly.

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  1. 3. Hybrid ablation

In hybrid ablation, the area of interest is ablated without opening the heart. Instead, a small incision is made in your chest through which a catheter is inserted.

Who performs these steps?

“Usually an electrophysiologist who is a cardiologist trained in electrical problems of the heart conducts these procedures,” was Dr. Pradeep Kumar D’s response. Sometimes, you may need special tools, like a 3D mapping system. Depending on the complexity, the procedure may take several hours to complete.

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He went on to say that “procedural success varies from 70 to 95 percent depending on the type of procedure that is done.” Under local anesthesia and sedation, the procedure is carried out with the help of catheters that are inserted through the veins in the groin or neck. Bleeding, infection, abnormal conduction that necessitates a pacemaker, and occasionally cardiac tamponade (due to perforation of the heart) are all potential complications of the procedure.

What are the benefits and risks of ablating the heart?

The following are the benefits of cardiac ablation, according to Dr. Mohit Tandon.

When drugs are unable to control dangerous arrhythmias, it can save lives.

The procedure has a very high success rate. Studies indicate a success rate of more than 70%.

The majority of people can undergo it with minimal discomfort.

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In most cases, it returns the heart to its normal rhythm, allowing the patient to stop taking antiarrhythmic medications.

He stated, “Like any procedure, this too carries some risks, but in experienced, high volume centers complication rates are very less with catheter ablation.” regarding the procedure’s risks. Complication rates, according to studies, can reach up to 6%. Pericardial tamponade (collection of blood in space around heart), Atrio esophageal fistula (serious complication, rarer, tract between heart chamber and food pipe), and arrhythmia during or after the procedure are common complications. Other common complications include bleeding from the puncture site, infection, arrhythmia, stroke, or TIA.

“Catheter ablation allows you to recover faster and return to your functional and productive life in a few days,” he said in his conclusion. If your arrhythmia recurs, you may need multiple ablations, which is more common in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. You might also be asked to take antiarrhythmic medications for a while after the procedure until the doctor is certain that they will be effective.

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