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Atrial fibrillation ablation (PVI)

Atrial Fibrillation Ablation (Pulmonary Vein Isolation)

Atrial fibrillation ablation, also known as pulmonary vein isolation, is a medical procedure used to treat a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the electrical signals that control your heart rhythm become abnormal, causing your heart to beat irregularly. This can lead to symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

The procedure typically takes several hours and is usually performed under general anaesthesia, so you will be asleep during the procedure. During the procedure, your doctor will use catheters (thin, flexible tubes) to access your heart through a vein in your leg.

In atrial fibrillation, abnormal signals may arise in the pulmonary veins (veins which drain the blood from the lungs), that trigger and maintain the arrhythmia.

The catheters are equipped with small electrodes that record electrical signals from your heart tissue. These signals help your doctor identify the specific areas of your heart that require treatment. Once these areas have been identified, your doctor will use the catheter to deliver energy (either in the form of heat from a radiofrequency catheter or cold from a cryo-ballon) to isolate the pulmonary vein electrical signals from the rest of the heart.

After the procedure, you will need to rest in the hospital overnight before being discharged. You may experience some mild discomfort or swelling at the catheter insertion site, but this should resolve within a few days. Your doctor will discuss any additional follow-up care or medication with you before you leave the hospital.

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