North Shore patients requiring cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation (AFib) receive world-class care at the Heart Center at North Shore Medical Center (NSMC). The NSMC Heart Center is the only comprehensive cardiac center on the North Shore that provides angioplasty and advanced cardiac surgery, as well as many other services. Specialists in our cardiac electrophysiology program offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options to manage AFib and other irregular heart rhythm conditions, including cardiac ablation for AFib.
Cardiac ablation for AFib is a minimally invasive surgery during which patients may be sedated (for more complex procedures, a general anesthetic is administered). A cardiac ablation procedure is normally performed in an electrophysiology lab or operating room and may last up to 6 hours. Cardiac ablation for AFib is revolutionizing management of cardiac arrhythmia because it is so successful, and most patients are able to return to their daily routine within a few days.
During cardiac ablation surgery, surgeons insert four catheters into the heart through veins in the arm, neck or groin. The catheters contain both the tools for ablation as well as advanced imaging equipment. Once the catheters are in place, the ablation is performed using an energy source such as radio waves (radiofrequency ablation) or intense cold (cryoablation) to destroy a small bit of cardiac tissue and create scar tissue that will block the irregular electrical signals causing the fibrillation.