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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is an ablation procedure and how will this help someone with atrial fibrillation?

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    Thanks

    Dr David O'Donnell

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    A graduate of the University of Melbourne Medical School in 1993, Dr David O’Donnell was the recipient of 9 undergraduate awards including the Association of … View Profile

    An ablation procedure is the only definitive cure for atrial fibrillation. It's a procedure that is performed under either a sedative or a full general anesthetic where we actually go through the groin and up into the heart. We use a laser, heated electricity, or sometimes we even freeze away all the abnormal sparks in the heart to try and allow the person to get back to normal rhythm.
     
    The procedure is very useful in a substantive patient and typically it's most useful in patients who have a lot of symptoms related to their atrial fibrillation. There are other factors we look for. We look for patients who are a little younger, patients who have a structurally normal heart, and patients who are in and out of atrial fibrillation, rather than in it all the time.

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