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   Catheter Ablation | VT Ablation

Ventricular tachycardia (VT)

Some forms of ventricular tachycardia are life threatening and are usually treated with an ICD (see ICD section). In certain circumstances this form of VT may become a significant so that an ablation is considered. While success is possible, the underlying pathology remains unchanged and the ICD continues to be necessary.

Other forms of ventricular tachycardia are not life-threatening and occur in people with normal hearts. While these can be treated with medication, a permanent cure can be sought using ablation therapy.

Ablation of life-threatening VT

It is possible to burn away (ablate) ventricular tachycardia in some people leading to a permanent cure (see section on ablation). This, like any other ablation, involves passing a catheter whose end can be heated into the heart, usually via a vein at the top of the leg. The critical part of the tachycardia circuit or irritable focus is then located and burnt away.

For life-threatening VT it may be possible to ablate it in up to 70% or more. Often complex computer systems are required to help map the VT circuit. If the VT returns, more attempts can be made. It must be remembered that the underlying disease process will not be altered thus necessitating the ICD.

As with any other invasive procedure there are risks. These will depend on the health of the patient at the time of the procedure but can include blood leaks around the heart and dangerous heart rhythms. The risks are very individual and should be discussed with your doctor.
 
After the ablation patients need to lie flat for a few hours to let the holes in the veins close up. Often patients will be watched overnight and if an ECG is fine the following day, discharged.

Ablation of normal heart VT

It is possible to burn away (ablate) ventricular tachycardia in some people leading to a permanent cure (see section on ablation). This, like any other ablation, involves passing a catheter whose end can be heated into the heart, usually via a vein at the top of the leg. The critical part of the tachycardia circuit or irritable focus is then located and burnt away. For normal heart VT the chance of a successful cure can be nearer to 90%. Again if it returns more attempts can be made

As with any other invasive procedure there are risks although these are usually small. Fortunately complications only occur in about 1% of patients and depend on the site of the problem. Potential risks can include blood leaks around the heart and damage to the normal wiring system. The risks are very individual and should be discussed with your doctor.

After the ablation patients need to lie flat for a few hours to let the holes in the veins close up. Often patients will be watched overnight and if an ECG is fine the following day, discharged.

 


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