Cardiac Ablation in Children
Ablation is indeed a procedure used to correct abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias. It is a minimally invasive technique performed by inserting catheters (special wires) through blood vessels, typically in the leg or sometimes the neck, and guiding them to the heart.
Loading the player...Cardiac Ablation in Children <p>Pediatric <a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/cardiologist">Cardiologist</a> and <a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/electrophysiologists">Electrophysiologist</a>, talks about heart arrhythmias and treatment with ablation therapy in children.</p>
What is Cardiac Ablation in Children
Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure performed by electrophysiologists, who are cardiologists with specialized training in diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders.
During the procedure, the electrophysiologist uses mapping techniques to identify the specific area in the heart responsible for generating the abnormal electrical signals that cause the arrhythmia. This involves threading a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) through a blood vessel, usually in the groin, and guiding it to the heart.
Once the abnormal tissue is located, the electrophysiologist can deliver energy to the tissue using different methods. One common technique involves using radiofrequency energy, which heats and destroys the abnormal tissue responsible for the arrhythmia. Another technique involves using extreme cold, called cryoablation, to freeze and ablate the problematic tissue.
The goal of catheter ablation is to selectively destroy the abnormal tissue while sparing the healthy surrounding tissue. By doing so, the abnormal electrical pathways are disrupted, restoring the heart's normal rhythm.
It's important to note that catheter ablation is a specialized procedure and not all arrhythmias can be treated with it. The decision to proceed with ablation depends on various factors, including the type and location of the arrhythmia, the overall health of the patient, and the potential risks and benefits associated with the procedure. The electrophysiologist will evaluate each case individually to determine the most appropriate treatment approach.
Arrhythmias can indeed affect individuals of all ages, although they are more commonly seen in adults. In some cases, medication can effectively manage arrhythmias. However, when medications are ineffective, cause side effects, or if the desire is to be medication-free, ablation may be considered.
Ablation is a procedure performed in a specialized laboratory at a specialized hospital. It involves using imaging equipment, such as x-rays, to guide the placement of catheters and deliver targeted energy to the specific areas of the heart responsible for the arrhythmia. The goal is to disrupt or destroy the abnormal tissue causing the irregular heartbeat. Ablation is generally an outpatient procedure, and most children do not need to stay overnight in the hospital.
The success rate of ablation for certain types of arrhythmias can be over 95 percent, with a low rate of complications. While your doctor may discuss potential complications with you, it's important to note that these are uncommon. The recovery period after ablation is typically quick, and children are usually discharged on the same day. There are guidelines provided for returning to normal activities and school, and sometimes short-term medication may be prescribed after the procedure.
Although ablation is highly successful in most cases, there is a small possibility that the arrhythmia may recur. This can happen if the tissue was only temporarily injured rather than completely destroyed during the initial ablation. In such cases, a second procedure may be necessary.
Before considering ablation, a child with suspected arrhythmia will undergo diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of the arrhythmia and establish baseline information. Depending on the specific case, other treatment strategies may be attempted before deciding on ablation.
It is crucial to have open discussions with your physician if your child is experiencing arrhythmias. They can provide more information about ablation, discuss the potential benefits and risks, and address any further questions or concerns you may have.