Reasons for Procedure
- Pain at the catheter insertion site
- Blot clot formation
- Injuries to blood vessels or the heart
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Heart attack
- Heart tear
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Perform electrophysiology studies to pinpoint the location of the abnormal rhythms
- Instruct you to stop taking medications previously used to control your arrhythmia
- Prescribe medication to prevent clotting
- Do not to eat or drink anything for up to 8 hours before the procedure.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Description of Procedure
|Pathway of Catheter Toward the Heart|
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Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- The catheter insertion site may be bruised and sore.
- If the groin area was used as the insertion site, you will be instructed to lie in bed with your legs out straight.
- If the wrist or arm was used as the insertion site, you will not need to stay in bed.
- The insertion site will be monitored for signs of bleeding, swelling, or inflammation.
- Your vital signs will be monitored.
- Take aspirin as prescribed. It is often recommended for 2-4 weeks. This will help to reduce the risk of clot formation at the ablation sites.
- Return to any usual light activities, such as walking or taking the stairs. Refrain from heavy lifting or any strenuous activity for 24 hours. In most cases, you will be able to return to your normal activity level within a few days.
- Schedule a follow up visit with your doctor. The catheterization sites will need to be checked.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge at the point of catheter insertion
- Your leg feels cold, turns white or blue, or becomes numb or tingly
- Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
- Discomfort in the jaw, chest, neck, arms, or upper back
- Lightheadedness or weakness
American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Ablation for arrhythmias. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Ablation-for-Arrhythmias%5FUCM%5F301991%5FArticle.jsp. Updated April 22, 2015. Accessed June 30, 2015.
Catheter ablation of arrhythmias. Circulation. 2002;106:e203.
Cryoablation for atrial fibrillation in association with other cardiac surgery. National Institute for Clinical Excellence website. Available at: http://publications.nice.org.uk/cryoablation-for-atrial-fibrillation-in-association-with-other-cardiac-surgery-ipg123. Accessed June 30, 2015.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -