Atrial fibrillation may be treated by ablation, a surgical treatment. To help break up the electrical impulses that cause irregular heartbeats, it employs minor burns or freezes to create scarring on the heart’s inner surface. Heart rhythms may be maintained using this. A specific subset of cells often initiates the signal to begin your heartbeat. These cells reside in the heart’s upper right atrium, in the sinoatrial (SA) node. The sinoatrial node fails to initiate the heartbeat properly when it is experiencing atrial fibrillation.
At first, a tiny area of the atria is activated, but as the signal progresses, more and more regions are activated. Blood cannot flow to the ventricles because the atria cannot contract correctly. The atria “fibrillate” as a result of this. The ventricles contract erratically and sometimes more rapidly than they typically would due to the disordered signal. Ventricles may be unable to pump enough blood into the body if atria and ventricle contractions are no longer synchronised. Catheters (thin hollow tubes) are placed into a blood artery in the lower abdomen, and a doctor threads them up to the heart, where they may reach the heart’s internal chambers for AF ablation.
The doctor then uses the catheters to leave a scar on a tiny section of the heart by burning or freezing the tissue. Radiofrequency radiation helps scar tissue during the burning process. Cryoablation is a method used during the freezing process. One may prevent atrial fibrillation by scarring the heart and blocking the aberrant electrical impulses that cause it. In such cases, surgeons are necessary. Having cardiac surgery for another reason is the most prevalent scenario in which this occurs.
What’s the deal with the ablation procedure?
Shortness of breath and palpitations are common side effects for those with atrial fibrillation. Stroke risk is also considerably increased by atrial fibrillation. Several anticoagulant drugs used to prevent stroke include their dangers, and those taking some anticoagulant medicines need additional blood draws and monitoring to ensure their safety. The primary goal of ablation therapy is to alleviate symptoms.
Many people with atrial fibrillation are prescribed medication to regulate their heart rate or rhythm. These drugs may not work for everyone. The doctor may recommend ablation in certain situations. An ablation procedure may be more effective if you’ve had atrial fibrillation for fewer than seven days. A more persistent atrial fibrillation may make it less effective in the long term. Your heart may be an excellent candidate for ablation if you have no underlying structural issues. If you are experiencing symptoms of atrial fibrillation, it may also be a viable alternative for you.
Ablation may be used as a first-line treatment for cardiac rhythm problems; however, most individuals have prescribed medication first. To learn more about the advantages and downsides of this surgery, speak with your physician. Prepare for your atrial fibrillation ablation by talking with your doctor. Before midnight on the day before your surgery, refrain from eating or drinking.
Be sure to take any medications prescribed by your doctor before the surgery. If your doctor doesn’t instruct you to stop taking medication, don’t. Before undergoing the operation, inform your doctor if you are pregnant. There is a danger of radiation exposure to the fetus while using ablation. Your doctor may request pregnancy tests if you are a woman of reproductive age. Consult your physician to learn more about the AF ablation procedure. 3 to 6 hours is the average time for the surgery. The ablation will be performed by a cardiologist and their team of specially trained nurses and technicians.
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