Find out what Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation is, what the procedure involves, and how private treatment can quickly improve your quality of life. You’ll learn the investigations you’ll need beforehand and what happens after the procedure. With our patient-centred approach, you’ll quickly get your life back! Choose cardiologists that care and book your consultation today.
What is Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation?
Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation is a minimally invasive medical procedure used to treat a type of irregular heartbeat known as Atrial Fibrillation (AF). The procedure uses energy (such as radiofrequency or laser energy) to create small scars in the heart tissue, which helps to prevent the abnormal electrical signals that cause AF. The procedure involves the use of catheters (much like angiography) to cauterise areas of the heart which cause AF. It’s a quickly developing technique which does offer the possibility of a cure.
Who needs AF Ablation?
The government’s NICE guidelines lay out who should have ablation therapy for Atrial Fibrillation. Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation is an option for patients with AF who have symptoms and have unsuccessfully tried anti-arrhythmic drug therapy (however warfarin may still need to be taken to prevent stroke).
What does the procedure involve?
Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation is minimally invasive and usually carried out under sedation.
- First, you’ll need a Transoesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE) to ensure there’s no clot in your heart.
- We’ll then need to carry out electrophysiological testing before the procedure to identify and map the source of abnormal electrical signals.
- Once the prep work is done and we’ve confirmed your heart is clot-free, we’ll insert a catheter into the femoral vein and advance it to the right side of your heart. With the help of X-ray fluoroscopic guidance, we ensure the correct positioning. AF usually starts in the left atrium, so a needle will be used to punch through a lining of tissue to get from the right atrium to the left atrium.
- An attachment at the tip of the catheter sends out radiofrequency energy, which then produces heat that damages the targeted area of the atrium.
Are there any risks?
As with all cardiovascular procedures, there are risks. Some are minor, but others can be very serious. ARound 2-3% of patients may suffer serious complications such as:
- Blood leak around the heart (tamponade)
- Nerve damage
- Pulmonary vein narrowing
- A hole forming between the atria and gullet (atrio-oesophageal fistula)
How do you diagnose Atrial Fibrillation?
The AF is initially suspected by feeling your pulse. To confirm a diagnosis, we may need to undertake investigations such as:
What happens after the procedure?
The recovery time for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation varies depending on your overall health., but typically you can expect to stay in the hospital for 1-3 days after the procedure.
It’s common to experience some mild discomfort or pain in the chest area for a few days after an AF Ablation. You may be able to return to normal activities within a week, or you may need more time to fully recover. It’s important to follow our recovery instructions and attend follow-up appointments so we can monitor your progress.
Ready to book your AF Ablation?
Give us a call, e-mail or fill out our simple contact form to arrange your consultation.
Get seen quickly
As we’re a private clinic, your appointments work around you. Get your AF treated quickly so your heart rhythm can be managed, and you’ll soon start enjoying life again.
Private AF Ablation treatment is covered by most private medical insurance policies, but please contact your insurance company prior to your appointment to obtain your pre-authorisation code to speed things up.
Our price list is available on request and is on display in our waiting area. For an estimation of costs please get in touch.
Why choose London Cardiovascular Clinic?
- We offer a patient-centred approach, so you’ll feel looked after and have all your questions answered
- Choose from our flexible appointment times and get seen at your convenience
- Personalised treatment plans
- Get consultancy & treatment from London’s top cardiologists – each with their own special interests
- You’ll experience a much more welcoming and relaxing experience at our private clinic than you would elsewhere
- Video resources to help you further understand your condition and the procedures involved