What is a Heart Ablation?

Posted on April 2, 2019

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 If you have a heart arrhythmia, chances are good you regularly visit a cardiology clinic to keep it under control. In more extreme cases, a heart ablation may be necessary to treat the irregularity of your heartbeat. Read on to learn more about heart ablations, heart arrhythmia, and your various treatment options.

What Is a Heart Ablation?

A heart ablation or cardiac ablation is a procedure performed to correct heart arrhythmias. Since these heart rhythm problems can cause various complications, treatment can be life-saving. In a heart ablation procedure, heart tissue is scarred or destroyed, getting rid of the tissue that triggers or contributes to abnormal heart rhythms. It may also target tissue that sends abnormal electrical impulses that then cause the arrhythmia. Extreme heat (radio frequency energy) or cold (cryoablation) is generally used to target and alter the tissues. It is sent to your heart by way of catheters inserted near the groin and threaded to the heart. While open heart surgery is also an option, the catheter is less invasive and has a shorter recovery period associated with the surgery. Depending on your specific condition, various chambers of the heart or connections to veins may be targeted.

What Is a Heart Arrhythmia?

Heart arrhythmia, also called cardiac dysrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat, is where the heart doesn’t beat in normal patterns. This can mean it beats too fast, too slowly, irregularly, or too early. In a healthy heart, impulses coordinate the contractions of the heart’s chambers perfectly, allowing for effective pumping and blood flow. When the impulses and signals that direct the heart’s patterns are disrupted, arrhythmia occurs. In many cases, it’s harmless, and it may feel like a racing pulse or fluttering heartbeats. In other cases, however, arrhythmia can be harmful or even deadly. This is more likely to be the case with extremely abnormal heartbeats, for people who are very young or very old, or for people with weakened or damaged hearts due to other causes.

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Who Is at Risk?

Many people with heart arrhythmias don’t even know it. Irregular heartbeat can be caused or worsened by many different things including diabetes, stress, smoking, or any interruption to the heart’s electrical impulses that coordinate contractions. Symptoms can include dizziness, heart palpitations, or breathlessness.

What Else?

For most people, heart arrhythmias are easily identified, generally harmless, and easily managed with medications that control the heart tissue. For questions, concerns, or to make an appointment with a cardiologist, reach out to the cardiology specialists in Suffolk County, NY, at Peconic Bay Medical Center today!

 

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