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A catheter ablation may be done if there is a problem with your heartbeat (heart rhythm). This procedure destroys (ablates) tiny areas of the heart that are causing your heart rhythm problem. This should not affect the heart's ability to do its job.
The doctor puts thin tubes called catheters into blood vessels in your groin, arm, or neck. The tubes are guided to your heart. There is an electrode at the tip of each tube. The electrode helps the doctor find the problem areas. Then the doctor uses the electrode to send energy to destroy the areas of heart tissue that are causing the problem.
You may get medicine that relaxes you or puts you in a light sleep. Or you might be asleep during the procedure. The places where the catheters go in will be numb.
After an ablation, you may stay overnight in the hospital.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: December 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine & Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
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