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Many of the cardiac arrhythmia problems will turn out to be benign and often need no treatment at all. Some arrhythmia may have very good symptom control with just medications. Often, medications are tried first before considering invasive therapy options.

Catheter ablation

Catheter ablation is a procedure done in electrophysiology (EP) catheter lab. These procedures are generally performed if symptoms have not been adequately controlled with medicines. Catheter ablation procedures could be simple EP procedures and some are considered complex procedures. Some of these procedures may require general anesthesia administered to patients. In simple terms, these procedures will involve putting catheters through a vein from the upper thigh (femoral vein) and reach into the heart chambers and identify the arrhythmia causing sites in these chambers. Once they have been identified, treatment can be administered using these catheters in the form of ablation. Ablation could be performed either using radiofrequency or in some cases cryo ablation (freezing).

Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Atrial fibrillation ablation has had the most progress in the last decade in terms of techniques and evolving technology. AF ablation will involve getting catheters into left atrium (left upper chamber of the heart) and ablating around pulmonary veins which are the most common triggers for AF. This procedure can be now done either through radio frequency technique or through cryo ablation technique. There are unique merits of both techniques. This treatment can potentially cure the arrhythmia in significant proportion of patients with AF. Some patients will need more than one procedure to get symptoms under control. This is because, the ablated areas in some patients can heal up and again transmits irritable impulses from pulmonary veins.

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