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Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common irregular heart rhythm in the United States. Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm originating in the atria. Instead of the impulse traveling in an orderly fashion through the heart, many impulses begin and spread through the atria and compete for a chance to travel through the AV node. This causes a rapid and disorganized heartbeat.

Atrial fibrillation ablation is a type of treatment for cardiac arrhythmias. During ablation, a doctor inserts a catheter (thin, flexible tube) into the heart. A special machine delivers energy through the catheter to tiny areas of the heart muscle that cause the abnormal heart rhythm. This energy “disconnects” the pathway of the abnormal rhythm.

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The ablation procedure also can be used to disconnect the electrical pathway between the upper chambers (atria) and lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. The type of ablation performed depends upon the type of arrhythmia.