Your physician may recommend ablation to treat your heart rhythm problem. Trust the experienced heart doctors at Spectrum Health for safe, effective ablation procedures.

What is Cardiac Ablation?

Ablation uses extreme temperatures to treat small areas of heart tissue that cause arrhythmia.

Is Ablation Right for Me?

An electrophysiologist—a physician who specializes in heart rhythm disorders—can help you decide whether to include ablation as part of your arrhythmia care. He or she may recommend this treatment if you have any arrythmias such as atrial fibrillation (Afib), atrial flutter, premature ventricular contractions, supraventricular tachycardia or ventricular tachycardia.

Catheter Ablation

During catheter ablation, your doctor uses imaging technology to guide a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through your blood vessels to your heart. Your doctor uses sensors on the tip of the catheter to determine what area of your heart is causing problems. Then, he or she creates tiny scars in your heart tissue using extreme cold (cryoablation) or heat (radiofrequency ablation). The scarring blocks the abnormal heart rhythms.

What to Expect

Before your catheter ablation, you’ll receive medications that block pain and put your body to sleep. Your procedure will take one to four hours. In most cases, you can go home the same day and return to your usual activities after just a few days.

Maze Procedure (Surgical Ablation)

The Maze procedure is a type of open heart surgery. Your doctor may recommend this approach to ablation if you have Afib and need open heart surgery for another reason, such as heart valve replacement. In this case, both procedures are done during the same surgery.

During the Maze procedure, your surgeon uses heat from radiofrequency energy to create a “maze” of new electrical pathways in your heart. The new pathways prevent irregular heartbeats.

Convergent Procedure

During a Convergent™, or hybrid, procedure, a cardiothoracic surgeon and electrophysiologist (heart rhythm specialist) work together to treat persistent Afib. First, your surgeon uses minimally invasive surgery to perform ablation on the back of your heart. Then, your electrophysiologist performs catheter ablation to treat the inside of your heart. 

When your Afib is treated with this technique instead of conventional surgical ablation, you may benefit from a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.

Get a Second Opinion

Feel certain you’re getting the best care with a second opinion at Spectrum Health.