Table of Contents
Definition of Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure
Radiofrequency ablation uses high-frequency energy, similar to microwave energy, to destroy abnormal electrical pathways in the heart.
The cardiologist performs radiofrequency ablation via cardiac catheterization, threading a catheter through a blood vessel and into the heart.
Electrodes on the tip of the catheter function somewhat as an electrocardiogram (ecg), sending information about the heart’s electrical activity via the catheter back to a monitor.
When the catheter reaches the area of dysfunctional electrical activity, the cardiologist sends a burst of high-frequency energy through the electrodes.
The energy destroys the area of myocardial tissue responsible for the dysfunction, closing the abnormal electrical pathway. The heart’s regular electrical pathways then become the route for the heart’s electrical pacing impulses.
Radiofrequency ablation permanently ends the arrhythmia about 90 percent of the time.
Page last reviewed: