After you’re diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia, you may receive medication to treat the problem, or you could have a one-time radiofrequency ablation to cure the abnormal rhythm and restore your normal heartbeat. Akash Makkar, MD, and Mohamad Abdelrahman, MD, at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates have years of experience performing successful radiofrequency ablation procedures for patients with an arrhythmia. To learn if you’re a good candidate for a heart ablation, schedule an appointment online or call one of the offices in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Sun City, Dewey, or Prescott Valley, Arizona.
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that corrects abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates uses a catheter to deliver radiofrequency energy to the part of the heart’s electrical system causing the arrhythmia.
The radiofrequency energy creates a tiny scar on the tissue, disrupting the abnormal activity and stopping the arrhythmia.
Your heart has a built-in electrical system, including a natural pacemaker called the sinoatrial node. The sinoatrial node initiates electrical impulses that trigger a heartbeat.
Every time the node sends a signal, the impulse follows a specific path through your heart, making all the muscles contract in the precise order needed to circulate blood.
When you have a heart arrhythmia, some part of the electrical system disrupts the signal. Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates targets that abnormal area with radiofrequency ablation.
Heart arrhythmias occur when your heart beats too slowly, too rapidly, or irregularly. In one type of arrhythmia, called atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of your heart beat chaotically, making the muscles quiver.
Some patients don’t have symptoms, but if you do, you may experience problems such as:
When you have palpitations, it may feel like your heart is racing, pounding, skipping a beat, or fluttering in your chest.
Radiofrequency ablation, or heart ablation, is a minimally invasive procedure performed in the electrophysiology lab. Depending on the type of arrhythmia, you receive general anesthesia or light sedation.
Your provider at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates also uses a topical anesthetic at the site in your groin where they insert the narrow catheter. After guiding the catheter to your heart, they map the electrical system to identify the source of your arrhythmia.
Using the map for guidance, they introduce a therapeutic catheter that transmits radiofrequency waves, producing enough heat to create a small scar on the targeted heart tissue. The scar blocks the abnormal electrical impulses, allowing your heart to return to its normal rhythm.
If you have symptoms of arrhythmia or you would like to learn more about radiofrequency ablation, call Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates or schedule an appointment online today.