The aim of this procedure is to analyse the abnormalities in the electrical impulse generation/transmission of the heart, to clarify the mechanism of a given arrhythmia so as to decide whether medical therapy or pacemaker implantation is needed or catheter ablation should be performed.
Under local anaesthesia, we position special catheters into the heart via the large femoral or neck veins and transmit electrical impulses to the heart according to special protocols. Many times we are able to provoke the arrhythmia causing the patient’s symptoms, in these cases we can localize the abnormal focus or tract which is responsible for the arrhythmia.
Certain arrhythmias can be cured by catheter ablation of the abnormal focus or tact by using heat. In these cases we position the catheter at the diseased area and transmit heat to the end of the catheter. because of high temperature, the cells involved in the arrhythmia will be destroyed. Since ablation is limited to a small, discrete area, it will not affect the contractile function of the heart. In some cases, we need to position the ablation catheter through the femoral artery.
After the injection of local anaesthetics, catheter positioning causes little discomfort, during the procedure You might feel palpitations. Usually ablation is not really painful, however in some cases there might be more sensitive areas of the heart.
At the end of the procedure, we pull out the catheters and place compression dressing over the artery. It stays for 3-4 hours if only the veins and for 12 hours if the arteries were punctured, the patient must stay in bed for this period. The patient must stay in the hospital for one night after the procedure.
Some medications must be discontinued prior to the operation!
Important information for patients scheduled for electrophysiology and catheter ablation.
- Antiarrhythmic medications: Depending on the type of the arrhythmia, some medications must be stopped at certain time prior to the procedure. It is possible that we are not able to provoke the arrhythmia under the effect of medications and therefore the study will not be informative. You should discuss the details with Your physician.
- Blood thinners (Syncumar, Marfarin): If You take any of these medications, You should discontinue it 3 days prior to the procedure, otherwise the implantation can not be performed because of the increased risk of bleeding! If needed, these medications can be substituted by subcutaneous injections, You should discuss the details with Your physician. (You should receive the last injection the night before the procedure!)
- Diabetes mellitus: If You are suffering from diabetes, You should receive no or decreased dose of insulin or antidiabetic medications. You should discuss the details with Your physician, as well.
It is allowed to eat the night before and on the morning of the procedure (light breakfast until 7.00AM). You may consume small amounts of fluid on the day of the procedure. Considering the above mentioned, please also take Your morning medications.