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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are there any risks of having an ablation?

    I have only heard positive things about this… anything I should be worried about? I'm definitely read to have NSR…
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    Dr Jason Kaplan

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr. Jason Kaplan is a specialist adult cardiologist and physician. Dr. Kaplan studied Medicine at UNSW and graduated with Honours in 1999 then completed his … View Profile

    There are risks of having an ablation. The risks vary with the complexity of the ablation, the total length of the procedure, and also whether there is significant underlying heart disease. The risks in experienced operators are fairly low. These days, special cardiologists, called electro-physiologists, trained in treating rhythm disorders of the heart, almost exclusively perform catheter ablation procedures. The risks vary according to the type of ablation. Ablations performed on the right side of the heart have a much lower risk, compared to ablations performed on the left side of the heart. The main complications associated with catheter ablation can include vascular access complications. As the heart needs to be accessed usually through veins and arteries in a persons leg. These are the femoral artery and the femoral vein. Complications can include false aneurysm formation or vein thrombosis; sometimes abnormal heart rhythms can develop after an ablation.  In About one in five hundred cases sometimes there is sometimes a need for a permanent pacemaker after catheter ablation. In some ablations performed on the left side of the heart, especially the ablations for atrial fibrillation, there’s a risk of stroke as well.

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