The NSMC Heart Center at North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) offers exceptional care for patients in need of a cardiac ablation procedure. The NSMC Heart Center is the region’s only comprehensive cardiac care center, offering angioplasty, cardiac rehabilitation and advanced cardiac surgery, as well as cardiac ablation surgery.
A cardiac ablation procedure at NSMC is performed by the specialists in our cardiac electrophysiology program, which evaluates and treats patients with fast and slow heart rates, heart palpitations, blackout spells and lightheadedness. In addition to cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation (AFib) and other arrhythmia issues, our electrophysiologists implant and maintain electronic pacemakers, electronic implantable defibrillators, and perform a full range of electrophysiology testing and treatments.
Recovery after a cardio ablation procedure is typically straightforward, and most people can return to normal activity within a few days.
The cardiac ablation procedure normally takes 3 to 6 hours, during which patients may be sedated. For a more complex ablation procedure general anesthesia is administered. Cardiac ablation is performed in an electrophysiology lab or operating suite where patients can be closely monitored
During the cardiac ablation procedure, doctors insert one or more catheters through incisions in the arm, neck or groin and guide them through blood vessels to the heart. The catheter is equipped with electrodes that are used to stimulate the heart in order to replicate the arrhythmia and locate the tissue that is causing the irregular heartbeat.
Doctors then ablate a small portion of that issue – usually less than one-fifth of an inch. Ablation may be accomplished using mild radio frequency heat energy or using very cold temperatures (cryoablation). After the ablation procedure is finished and the issue is destroyed, the abnormal electrical signals that were the source of the arrhythmia should no longer be a problem.