Cardiac ablation is a procedure indicated to treat various forms of tachyarrhthmias (fast heart rhythms). Several catheters are advanced from the leg (groin) to the heart in a manner similar to a heart catheterization. Once in place, the physician will pace and map the hearts electrical system to identify the location of the tachyarrhythmia. Upon isolating the location of the arrhythmia, a focal lesion is placed by an ablation catheter in the heart by either heating or freezing the targeted tissue.
Depending on the type of tachyarrhythmia, the procedure may take up to several hours. Despite the long duration of the case, many of the patients who undergo this procedure are discharged the same day. Moderate sedation is usually administered, but some patients are given general anesthesia.