Atrial Fibrillation Ablation
Atrial Fibrillation ablation is the latest treatment for atrial fibrillation. New technology and information come together to create a procedure that has less risks, less discomfort, less hospital stay and is safer than most other treatments for Afib. If you are considering Afib ablation what concerns should you have? Are you a good candidate? Most importantly what are the risks?
As you may know most atrial fibrillations start off with one episode and tends to graduate from that episode to many more that become increasingly more dangerous. One attack causes changes and damage to the heart that is a catalyst for more episodes that cause more change and damage. Drug therapy is used as a first line of defense but some times it is not effective or the patient is intolerant of the prescribed drugs.
Once it is determined that drug therapy is not effective your doctor will consider more aggressive approaches to control your heart rate. Atrial fibrillation ablation is one procedure that should be considered first. Your doctor will know your health history and will be able to decide the best course of action.
Your concern about Afib ablation is natural due to the not having much information about the procedure. Knowledge of the treatment takes the fear of the unknown away. Atrial fibrillation ablation is a safe procedure that has been proven over the last few years. It is no more dangerous than having your wisdom teeth pulled and for most it is much less painful.
As far as being a candidate for the ablation treatment your doctor will be the final authority. For the most part, all patients with symptomatic AF not responding to medical therapy or intolerant to medical therapy due to side effects are potential candidates. Your health will play a role but usually that has more to do with recovery time.
What are the risks of atrial fibrillation ablation? Due to the limited invasiveness of the procedure and the fact that it can many times be preformed as an outpatient procedure the risks are small. Infection of the area where the catheter is inserted may be a concern but overall the risks are tremendously reduced especially as compared to any open chest heart procedure.
As mentioned the afib ablation procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that may be done with outpatient protocol. Those who do remain at the hospital are usually released the day after the ablation treatment. According to many the pain is described less as pain and more a s discomfort both during and afterwards.
Atrial fibrillation ablation is a safe procedure that has a good chance of controlling your atrial fibrillations and thereby allowing you to enjoy life more.