Catheter ablation is a non-surgical minimally invasive procedure that involves ablating (destroying) parts of a short circuit or irritable spot in the heart that is causing an arrhythmia. During the procedure, an electrophysiologist (a heart doctor experienced in treating heart rhythm problems) threads a catheter, which is a long, flexible tube, through a vein in the crease of the leg up into the heart. The tip of the ablation catheter then delivers energy to the short circuit or irritable spot, which disables it. This interrupts electrical conduction and effectively puts an end to the arrhythmia.
Why catheter ablation?
Catheter ablation is an effective way of treating arrhythmias, and the procedure is fairly safe. Serious complications are very rare. When used to treat some types of arrhythmia, for example, supraventricular tachycardia, success rates are better than 95% in experienced centers.
Many people choose catheter ablation because it is a low-risk procedure that may cure their arrhythmia. It also helps them avoid having to take medication for the rest of their lives and allows them to lead a more active life.