The electrical system within the heart is complex and sometimes, it can become chaotic due to the extra or faulty electrical connections, or pathways. Heart rhythm disorders are caused by this and atrial fibrillation ablation, or catheter ablation, is a common and effective treatment for many heart rhythm problems.

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat which can lead to a number of health conditions including blood clots, stroke and even heart failure. The condition can lead to a number of other heart conditions, so treatment is almost always recommended.

Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Procedure

Catheter ablation is an exacting and minimally invasive procedure which looks to deliver effective results very quickly. Atrial fibrillation ablation is usually performed under local anaesthetic with patients also given sedation.

The procedure uses a thin tube, the catheter, which is inserted into a vein usually in the upper leg/groin region. From here the catheter is guided through the blood vessels into the heart. Fine wires travel though the tube and are put into specific positions within the heart. The wires stimulate the heart tissue and allow the surgeon to locate the source of the atrial fibrillation. Once found, it can be blocked and eliminated, with the removal of any problem cells and pathways. Energy travels through the wires to create scar tissue which blocks the unwanted electrical signals.

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

The wires and catheter are taken out as soon as the procedure is complete. Most patients recover for a few hours on the ward. Most patients recover quickly and within a day or so normal activities can resume. Heavy lifting should be avoided for around two weeks, but most day-to-day activities can be continued. The DVLA says you cannot drive for two days after the procedure and you may wish to take some time off work to aid your recovery.

If you want to make an appointment with Dr Begley to discuss treatment options including atrial fibrillation ablation, you should phone or email his secretary directly. Dr Begley’s private secretary Ruth Littlechild can be contacted on 01223 850 423 or via