Having an irregular heartbeat can be scary, especially when you don’t know what’s wrong. The talented team of board-certified cardiologists at COR Healthcare Medical Associates in Torrance, San Pedro, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, California, has considerable expertise and experience in diagnosing irregular heartbeats and treating them with advanced approaches like cardiac ablation. Call our Los Angeles offices today to find out more or book an appointment online.
Ablation is a procedure for treating an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation). Ablation creates tiny scars in your heart. These prevent the faulty electrical signals that cause an irregular heartbeat from moving through your heart.
Before trying cardiac ablation, your cardiologist at COR Healthcare Medical Associates uses more conservative approaches, starting with medication. They might then do a procedure called cardioversion, which resets your heartbeat.
If these approaches don’t work, cardiac ablation is the next step.
Catheter ablation is also known as radiofrequency or pulmonary vein ablation. It’s the least invasive type of cardiac ablation.
Your cardiologist places a slim, flexible piece of tubing called a catheter into one of the large blood vessels in your neck or leg. They use ultrasound imaging to guide the catheter up the blood vessel and into your heart.
When the catheter gets to the area of your heart that’s causing the arrhythmia, the catheter sends out electrical signals. These signals destroy the cells responsible for the arrhythmia.
The two types of catheter ablation are radiofrequency ablation, which creates scars using radiofrequency energy, and cryoablation, which uses a substance that creates scar tissue by freezing the cells that are causing the arrhythmia.
There are three types of surgical ablation:
Your cardiologist will do a maze procedure if you need to have open-heart surgery to treat another heart condition. The maze is made with a series of tiny cuts that form scar tissue as they heal.
If you don’t need open-heart surgery, a less-invasive option is the mini maze. Your cardiologist makes some small incisions between the ribs. They then use a laparoscope — a small camera on a flexible tube — to guide a catheter to the right area of your heart.
You could have radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation using this method.
This uses both catheter ablation and the mini maze. One member of the surgical team guides a catheter into your pulmonary vein to deliver radiofrequency ablation. Another member of the team uses minimally invasive techniques to apply radiofrequency energy to the outside of your heart.
If you have an arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation, the expert cardiologists at COR Healthcare Medical Associates have the skills to resolve your problem using cutting-edge ablation techniques. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.