Heart Disease: Treating Arrhythmias with Ablation

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A Visual Guide to Heart Disease

Why do I need ablation therapy?

Doctors recommend ablation therapy to treat:

In addition to re-establishing a normal heart rhythm in people with certain arrhythmias, ablation therapy can help control the heart rate in people with rapid arrhythmias, and reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes.

How should I prepare for catheter ablation?

The ablation preparation may vary, depending on whether you're having surgical or nonsurgical ablation. These are general guidelines; your doctor or nurse will give you specific instructions.

To prepare for ablation, there are several steps you should take. Among them:

  • Ask your doctor which medications you should stop taking and when to stop them. Your doctor may ask you to stop certain drugs (such as those that control your heart rate or blood thinners including aspirin products) one to five days before your procedure. If you are diabetic, ask your doctor how you should adjust your diabetic medications.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before the procedure. If you must take medications, drink only with a small sip of water.
  • When you come to the hospital, wear comfortable clothes. You will change into a hospital gown for the procedure. Leave all jewelry and valuables at home.
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