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Catheter ablation therapy for arrhythmia

Minimally invasive treatment to manage heart rhythm problems

Catheter ablation therapy is a specialised cardiac procedure to prevent areas of the heart from causing an abnormal beat​

About

Ablation therapy can correct a range of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), including atrial fibrillation. These conditions are caused by abnormal electric signals sent by the heart muscle. Radiofrequency energy or freezing (cryoablation) is used to destroy the heart tissue that's causing the abnormal rhythm.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    The procedure usually takes about an hour but may take longer if you’re having an ablation for atrial fibrillation. You’ll be given local anaesthetic to numb your groin area. You may also be given a light sedative or general anaesthetic. If you have general anaesthetic, you’ll be asleep throughout. Your consultant will insert a small flexible tube into a vein (or veins) at the top of your leg and guide fine wires (catheters) through the tube and into your heart. Once they’ve identified the tissue in your heart that’s causing the arrhythmia they'll destroy it with a beam of radiofrequency energy or by freezing it. This corrects your heartbeat.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare. It’s important to let us know if you’re taking any medication as you may need to stop taking it before your procedure. You’ll be asked to stop eating and drinking a few hours beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and answer any questions you have.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You may be able to go home on the day of your procedure. However, if you had a long procedure or an ablation for atrial fibrillation, you may need to stay in hospital overnight. You should arrange for someone to travel home with you. You should rest for three to four days after the procedure to allow time for the top of your leg to heal. If you had your ablation for atrial fibrillation you may need to rest for up to two weeks. Your consultant will discuss the procedure with you and let you know when you can get back to your usual routine and activities. They’ll also give you advice on medication, exercise, travel, diet and alcohol.

Don't wait, pay for yourself

You don’t need health insurance to have fast access to our top consultants, extensive range of treatments, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures at our world-class facilities.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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