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If medication or other therapeutic methods do not control AFib or other heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias), then your physician may recommend AFib ablation.

Abnormal electrical signals that cause AFib often start in the upper chambers of the heart, known as the atria. These signals disrupt the heart’s normal rhythm (sinus rhythm) and cause the heart to flutter instead of beating in a coordinated, efficient manner.

AFib ablation, performed by electrophysiologists in the Electrophysiology Laboratory, harnesses energy to create scars on the surface tissue of the heart. The scars disrupt problematic abnormal electrical signals and restore the heart’s normal rhythm, called sinus rhythm.

How It Works

AFib ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no surgical incisions. Electrophysiologists insert catheters, which are long tubes, into a blood vessel in the groin, arm or neck. After guiding the catheter to the heart, electrophysiologists map the heart’s electrical signals and identify hot spots, or places where abnormal signals occur.

Special catheters that harness extreme cold or heat are used to create scar tissue on the surface of the heart, disrupting the abnormal electrical signals and restoring sinus rhythm.