If you have an ablation,
you're having treatment that aims to try to control or correct
your abnormal heart rhythm. It can also be called catheter
is done using the same technique as an electrophysiology (EP) study and is
sometimes carried out at the same time.
You'll have the procedure under a local anesthetic and with
sedation. These will help to ease any discomfort you may
feel. The process may take a few hours so it can still be an
Thin, flexible tubes called catheters are
placed into one of your veins or arteries, usually in your groin.
The catheters are gently moved into the correct position in your
Radiofrequency energy is then used to destroy
the affected area inside your heart that's causing the abnormal
heart rhythm. This process helps to block the abnormal electrical
impulses in this part of your heart.
What happens after the test?
is over, the catheters are removed. Sometimes there
might be a small amount of bleeding from the groin area when they
are taken out. A nurse or doctor will press on the area for a short
while to stop any bleeding.
After the procedure, you'll need to stay lying flat on your back
and rest for a few hours. Most people who have an ablation stay in
hospital overnight. You may feel tired afterwards, but you should
feel back to normal within a few days.
Are there any risks to having an ablation?
does involve a very small amount of risk. This will
be explained to you before you give your consent to have the
procedure. Your doctor will only recommend that you have this
procedure if they think the benefits outweigh the risks.
If there is bleeding, it can sometimes leave a
haematoma which means blood has collected under
the area of skin where the catheter was inserted. This can
feel uncomfortable and may cause bruising around the groin
There is a small risk of damage to the heart's normal electrical
pathways. If this happens, you may need to be fitted with an
Who can I talk to?
It’s natural to feel worried when you have a
new procedure, but it often helps to talk about your feelings with
someone close to you or with a healthcare professional.
You can also call our Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311
or look at our publications for more