In 2009, the Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute's board-certified electrophysiologists performed 214 cardiac ablations.
Cardiac ablation involves inserting an electrode-bearing catheter into a blood vessel in either the neck or groin and threading it to the heart, where it can pinpoint the location of the faulty electrical site. Once the damaged site is confirmed, energy -- either radiofrequency or cryotherapy -- is used to destroy a small amount of tissue, ending the disturbance or electrical flaw and restoring healthy heart rhythm.
Catheter ablation is most often used to treat rapid heartbeats that begin in the upper chambers of the heart. The procedure can also be used to successfully treat atrial fibrillation.
At the Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute, electrophysiologists and surgeons work closely together, whether during a cardiac ablation procedure or minimally invasive surgery, to thoroughly test and verify that the procedure has the intended therapeutic outcome for the patient.
Case Study: Ablation of College Athlete’s Heart Arrhythmia