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I would appreciate if someone could tell me more about catheter ablation. What is its purpose used, and for what conditions it is used? My friend’s father needs to get one and I have no idea what it is. I would like if there is anyone with any idea to give me a clue about this problem.

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I will try to explain to you as simple as possible. Catheter ablation of an irregular heartbeat involves having a tube (a catheter) inserted into the heart. This way electrical energy is sent to either reset the heartbeat or stop the heart from beating so a mechanical pacemaker can be put in place. Irregular heartbeats can occur in healthy people. They may not cause any dangerous symptoms or require medical attention. Mild changes in the normal patterns of heartbeats often reset themselves without notice but the improper correction of abnormal heartbeats can cause additional arrhythmias and can be fatal. Catheter ablation involves delivering highly focused heat or radio frequency energy to specific areas of the heart. Radio frequency energy is rapidly alternating electrical current that is produced at the tip of the catheter that is placed inside the heart. Even though very little electricity is given off by the catheter, the instrument does generate a large amount of heat. Without confusing you additionally, I hope that this was clear enough.
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It is a noninvasive procedure which took about 4 hours while I was awake. I didn't feel any pain and the only discomfort resulted from lying flat for the procedure and for four hours afterwards. The doctor inserted four catheters into two veins in my groin and fed them into my heart. With three of them he mapped out the electrical characteristics of my heart (I had supra ventricular tachycardia). The fourth catheter had the electrode with which he damaged some cells that created an extra, unnecessary path. It was interesting to experience what they could do with my heart. They raced it and threw in extra beats. I felt a little warmth during the ablation. The recovery time was very fast. I was discharged from the hospital the same day. I felt tired as if I'd run a marathon for a couple of days and the incisions in my veins healed surprisingly well. Some shadowy bruising appeared on the tops of my thighs, where the doctors had pressed. I think the procedure is well worth the benefits.javascript:emoticon(':-D')
Very Happy
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4/14/2008

Hi Kim (newbie),

Just wondering how you are doing several years after you had the ablation done? I too am back in Atrial Fib. and I have a feeling that they are going to want to do a Cath Ablation on me as well. I am 45, non smoker, non drinker, but overweight. My weights the biggest issue I have ~ and I am working on that !

Last time I was in Atrial fib about 2 years ago they did a Cardio Aversion, and put me on meds. 8-|

Thanks, Amber
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Mine was for AV nodal reentrant tachycardia. I had it a little over a week ago. The procedure was a very easy one and I would even call it painfree.
I had two catheter insertion points, both my groin and neck, I was very comfortably sedated during my 90 minute procedure, and the doctor found and ablated quite a few areas of conductivity along with my extra AV node.
I was released the same day.
I feel fantastic. The only thing I wish is that I had done it sooner.
I am 48 and had my ablation in Roslyn, NY.

Sue
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