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Catheter Ablation

Take advantage of UNC Medical Center’s skilled heart arrhythmia specialists who perform catheter ablation in your area.

What Is Catheter Ablation?

Catheter ablation, a minimally invasive procedure, treats your rapid heart rhythm conditions including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), ventricular tachycardia (VT) and atrial flutter. You may benefit from catheter ablation if other treatments are ineffective.

Get the most up-to-date technology for your catheter ablation procedure in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when you choose UNC Medical Center’s advanced electrophysiology (EP) lab. Our EP specialists work collaboratively and use techniques such as heat or extreme cold to scar or destroy the heart cells causing the heart rhythm condition.

What to Expect During Catheter Ablation

Your doctor will insert a catheter into a vein or artery in your leg and thread it into your heart. The catheter sends radio waves to your heart, which eliminates small areas of tissue around the spot where your abnormal heartbeats begin. The radio wave treatment stops the abnormal signals from travelling to the rest of your heart and restores a normal heart rate and rhythm.

The procedure usually lasts three to six hours. Afterward, you’ll spend several hours recovering in the hospital. You may need to stay in the hospital overnight or longer, depending on your condition.

Balloon Catheter

You’ll benefit from UNC Medical Center’s complex diagnostic technique using sophisticated 3-D heart mapping and a balloon catheter to identify the SVT or VT ablation location. Your doctor may use this technique if you have other heart problems or have had heart surgery.

Success for Atrial Fibrillation

Catheter ablation can be very effective at maintaining normal rhythm with a low risk of complications. If you experience significant atrial fibrillation symptoms, catheter ablation may eliminate or reduce the number and length of your episodes. Long term, ablation is more effective than antiarrhythmic medications.

Success for SVT and VT

Catheter ablation can cure certain types of tachycardia. Overall success rates for catheter ablation of SVT is over 90 percent, depending upon the specific type of SVT. Success rates for catheter ablation of VT vary from 50-95 percent, depending on the origin of the VT and the nature of your other health conditions.

Contact Us

Call the Heart & Vascular Center referral line at 866-862-4327 to find specialists, make an appointment or learn more about preventing heart disease.

Open Access is a new physician referral service, created by the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care, which coordinates all admissions and transfers through a single phone call and guarantees immediate acceptance for patients. Please contact us to learn more or call 866-862-4327.

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