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Your Ultimate Guide to Cardiac Ablation: Procedure, Risks, and Recovery

Home > Blogs > Your Ultimate Guide to Cardiac Ablation: Procedure, Risks, and Recovery

Your Ultimate Guide to Cardiac Ablation: Procedure, Risks, and Recovery

Cardiac Surgery | by Dr. Manoj Kumar Daga | Published on 23/05/2024


In the sphere of cardiac health, cardiac ablation arises as a critical procedure giving hope and relief to people struggling with several heart rhythm disorders. Cardiac ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that has reformed the treatment landscape, offering a pathway to revive regular heart rhythm patterns and enhance quality of life. 

If you often experience chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, etc., then book your appointment with one of the best cardiac Surgeon in Kolkata at BM Birla Heart Hospital. You will find an experienced and highly skilled expert ensuring proper diagnosis with adequate treatment solutions for your condition. 

In this comprehensive blog, we will dig deep into the complexities of cardiac ablation, exploring its procedure, benefits, risks, and the vital phases of pre- and post-operative care. However, please note that this blog is for informational purposes and doesn’t replace the significance of a cardiac doctor’s consultation

What is cardiac ablation ?

Cardiac ablation, also referred to as catheter ablation is a medical procedure intended to correct irregular or abnormal heart rhythms, medically known as arrhythmias. Palpitations, lightheadedness, and exhaustion are among the symptoms that usually accompany these irregular heartbeats, which might seem like fast or chaotic rhythms. A specialized catheter equipped with electrodes is instructed into the heart through blood vessels during cardiac ablation, aiming at the areas accountable for the unpredictable electrical signals. These targeted tissues are cautiously harmed or changed, reviving the heart's rhythm to a normal pattern through the use of heat or cold energy. 

What are the benefits of cardiac ablation?

The benefits of cardiac ablation extend beyond merely alleviating symptoms; they encompass a profound improvement in the overall quality of life for individuals grappling with arrhythmias. 

  • Firstly, cardiac ablation provides an accurate and proficient solution for controlling several types of arrhythmias that involve atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and supraventricular tachycardia.
  • Unlike treatments based on medications, which may only offer temporary relief or comprise unwanted side effects, ablation aims to spot the primary cause of the problem, offering a possible cure. 
  • In addition, by reviving regular heart rhythms, ablation substantially minimizes the risk of linked complications like stroke, heart failure, and cardiac arrest, hence improving long-term cardiovascular health and prognosis.

Why is a cardiac ablation procedure performed?

Cardiac ablation is recommended for people who are diagnosed with symptomatic arrhythmias that considerably damage their quality of life or pose a risk of severe complications. Common signs of ablation include:

  • Persistent heart palpitations
  • Chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Episodes of fainting or near-fainting

Additionally, cardiac ablation is recommended when medicinal therapies fail to appropriately control arrhythmias or when medication use is not right because of unbearable side effects. Ablation aims to revive regular heart rhythm, reduce symptoms, and enhance overall cardiac function, hence improving both longevity and quality of life.

What are the pre-instructions before cardiac ablation surgery? 

Preparation for cardiac ablation begins with several vital steps to guarantee optimum safety and effectiveness. Here are these steps: 

  • Patients undergoing ablation are usually recommended to refrain from eating or drinking for a particular period before the surgery. 
  • In addition, certain medications like blood thinners should be stopped for the moment to diminish the possibility of excessive bleeding during the procedure.
  • Patients are also guided to inform their healthcare expert about any current medical conditions, allergies, or medications they are presently taking, as these factors affect the treatment method and post-operative care plan.

What happens during the cardiac ablation procedure?

Patients are admitted to the hospital where they undergo a range of preparation steps before the ablation on the day of the procedure. After directing anesthesia to induce sedation or general anesthesia, the interventional cardiologist begins by inserting a catheter into a blood vessel, usually in the groin or neck, and advances it toward the heart under fluoroscopic guidance. After the catheter reaches the aimed area within the heart chambers, specialized mapping methods are involved to determine the irregular or abnormal electrical pathways causing the arrhythmia. Afterward, the cardiologist involves the use of a controlled energy like radiofrequency or cryotherapy, through the catheter to selectively ablate or change these abnormal tissues, reviving regular heart rhythm. The patient's vital signs and cardiac rhythm are closely tracked to guarantee safety and effectiveness throughout the procedure.

What are post-instructions after cardiac ablation surgery? 

Patients are closely monitored in a recovery area to evaluate their condition and confirm stability before discharge following cardiac ablation. The duration of post-operative observation depends on the intricacy of the procedure and individual patient factors as it might vary. Patients are usually instructed to prevent strenuous activities, heavy lifting, or driving for a particular time following ablation to enable appropriate healing and recovery. 

In addition, they may prescribe medications to manage pain, avert infection, or manage arrhythmias during the initial recovery stage. Patients need to follow all post-operative instructions given by their healthcare team and go for scheduled follow-up appointments to track progress, deal with any concerns, and optimize long-term results.


Cardiac ablation stands as a life-changing intervention in the sphere of cardiac care for people who are burdened by the disturbing effects of arrhythmias. Cardiac ablation allows the reviving of regular heart rhythm, minimizing symptoms and improving overall quality of life through its exact targeting of abnormal electrical pathways. While the procedure has inherent risks and needs careful consideration of pre & post-operative protocols, its benefits regarding symptom relief, decreasing complications, and long-term prognosis are significant. Cardiac ablation is a cornerstone in the wide-ranging management of cardiac arrhythmias, encouraging a brighter and healthier future for innumerable people across the world as advancements in technology and procedural methods continue to evolve.

Faq -


Can cardiac ablation cause heart failure?

Cardiac ablation doesn’t cause heart failure that occurs in a very rare cause, but complications are there like damage to the heart's electrical system or blood vessels, however, these are also uncommon.

Can cardiac ablation cause high blood pressure?

Cardiac ablation doesn't cause high blood pressure. However, it is utilized to treat some conditions contributing to hypertension.

How much does a cardiac ablation cost?

The cost of cardiac ablation differs hugely depending on certain factors such as location, hospital fees, and insurance coverage. It can range from seventy thousand to one lakh.

Is cardiac ablation a safe procedure?

Cardiac ablation is usually a safe procedure when performed by skilled professionals. Some risks are there that include bleeding, infection, or damage to nearby tissues, but severe complications are rare.

Are cardiac ablations dangerous?

While all medical procedures have some risks, cardiac ablations are usually considered safe. Complications are not very common, but patients must talk about possible risks with their healthcare experts.

Can cardiac ablation cause pericarditis?

Cardiac ablation can cause pericarditis in some cases, an inflammation of the pericardium. It's a possible complication, but the risk is minimal and usually is controlled with proper medical care.