Ablation is the second stage of the electrophysiological study (EPS) and is a procedure that allows the elimination of arrhythmias in the heart. The biggest advantage of ablation, which literally means “destroying”, is that it provides complete recovery or complete recovery in the vast majority of patients. By means of the ablation process, which has two types, cold and hot ablation, it is possible to treat many types of arrhythmias or rhythm disorders that cause palpitations. The treatment process is similar to the same electrophysiological study, namely EPS. So how is ablation different from EPS? In the rest of our article, you can find the answer to this question and get more detailed information about ablation. You can contact clinic of Prof. Basri Amasyalı for information about the ablation procedure and its prices in Ankara.
What Does Ablation Mean As Word?
Ablation is a treatment aimed at treating rhythm disorders in the heart. The aim of the ablation procedure is to completely eliminate the problematic area in the heart that causes the rhythm disorder. To destroy the problem area, heat-generating or cooling energies are used during the process.
The ablation process with radiofrequency energy is called warm ablation. It was first used in the early 1990s and is the most frequently used energy source in ablations today. In the warm ablation method, the damaged area is heated with radio waves, which we call Radiofrequency energy. The area exposed to heat between 50 – 70 degrees completely loses its function and the focus causing arrhythmia or palpitation is thus permanently removed. It is not possible to achieve this with rhythm-regulating drugs.
The cold ablation method is known as “freezing”. In cold ablation, unlike hot ablation, the target area is frozen by cooling it to -50 to -70 degrees using nitrogen gas. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, treatment planning should be done according to the type and severity of arrhythmia.
How to Perform Ablation?
Ablation is similar in application to the same electrophysiological studies. The only difference with ablation is that an additional catheter specific to the ablation process is used during the procedure. Since only diagnosis is made in EPS procedure, ablation can be considered as the second stage of EPS. After determining the causes of arrhythmia and its location in the heart with electrophysiological study, the problematic area is eliminated with ablation.
(In the picture, in a patient undergoing ablation, you can see 4 cables called electrodes with a thickness of 1-2 mm advanced to the heart through the veins in the inguinal region. Depending on the type of ablation to be performed, 2 to 4 electrodes are used in each case. As seen in the picture, these electrodes are placed at different points of the heart consisting of atria and ventricles, and the electrical signals produced by the heart are transferred to a computer screen through these electrodes.)
(On the computer screen you see on the right in the picture, you see the recording of the electrical signals produced by the heart through the electrodes placed in the chambers of the heart. On the two screens you see opposite, you see the heart and the electrodes in it.)
What are the Advantages of Ablation?
The most important advantage of ablation is the complete elimination of the problematic area causing the arrhythmia. It is not possible to achieve this with rhythm-regulating drugs. In ablation, there is a serious success rate of 70 – 99%, depending on the type of palpitation targeted and the severity of the disease. The recovery period after the operation is also very short. Almost all of the patients can return to their daily life within 1 day.
Another advantage of ablation is that it eliminates the need for lifelong rhythm-regulating drug treatment in most patients.
What Are the Risks of Ablation Procedure?
As with all interventional operations, there are some risks in ablation. However, these risks are never more than the lifelong risks of the disease treated with ablation. The risks of ablation are negligible and insignificant, especially when performed by a specialist team and an experienced physician.
Ablation or Medication? Which Should I Prefer?
This is the issue on the minds of most patients. “What would happen if I did not have ablation, but continued my life with medication?” it is often asked. First of all, drug treatment is not a wrong way. If the person is completely free from his/her complaints and current rhythm disorders with medication, he/she can continue his/her life in that way. However, the most important issue here is the risk of worsening the underlying rhythm disorder in the following years in most patients, even though it seems to have improved with medication. In many patients, the rhythm disorder generally starts from one point. Therefore, in such patients, it is relatively easy to remove a single point with ablation, and in such cases, we usually provide complete recovery, which we call full cure. However, some rhythm disorders start from a single point and after a while (sometimes months or years later); they can spread to more than one point in the heart or cause another rhythm disorder to develop (Atrial Fibrillation). In such cases, it is too late and even if ablation is performed at this stage, it is not always possible to achieve full cure or complete recovery.
The second important point is that rhythm-regulating drugs have serious side effects that can be of vital importance. These drugs have been around for 40-50 years. Ablation treatment, on the other hand, is the current treatment of our age, whose efficacy and safety have been well accepted in the last 20 years. In fact, while a person with arrhythmia has the opportunity to completely get rid of the rhythm disorder with ablation, it means that he prefers the drug treatment that was used 40-50 years ago, which carries the risk of vital side effects, rejects today’s opportunities and insists on outdated treatment.
For more detailed information about ablation treatment and prices, you can call our clinic in Ankara and make an appointment.