Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat or cold energy to interrupt the path of abnormal electrical impulses within the heart, which causes arrhythmias. During ablation, a physician inserts a catheter (thin, flexible tube) into a blood vessel. The catheter is guided through the blood vessel to the heart using imaging equipment.
This energy destroys a minuscule amount of heart tissue where the abnormal heartbeat may originate, and the heart returns to normal rhythm. Most patients are able to go home either the same day of treatment or the following day.
Cryoablation is an alternative to ablation. It uses cold energy instead of heat. Ablation is sometimes considered after other therapies such as medication have failed to correct an arrhythmia.