Cardiac Catheter Cryoablation
DefinitionCryoablation uses extremely cold temperature to destroy cells. Cardiac catheter cryoablation is used to destroy selected heart cells.
Reasons for ProcedureThis procedure is done to disable heart cells that are creating an irregular heartbeat called arrhythmias . After the procedure, normal heart rhythm should be restored.
Possible ComplicationsComplications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have cardiac catheter cryoablation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Pain at the catheter insertion site
- Blot clot formation
- Injuries to blood vessels or the heart
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Heart attack
- Heart tear
What to Expect
Prior to ProcedureYour doctor will likely do the following:
- Perform electrophysiology studies to pinpoint the location of the abnormal rhythms
- Instruct you to stop taking medications previously used to control your arrhythmia
- Prescribe medication to prevent clotting
- Do not to eat or drink anything for up to 8 hours before the procedure.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
AnesthesiaA local anesthetic will be given by needle. It will numb the area where a tube called a catheter will be inserted. You will also receive a mild sedative through an IV in your arm. This will help you to relax during the procedure.
Description of ProcedureThe special ablation catheter will be inserted into a blood vessel in the groin, upper thigh area, arm, or wrist. The area will be cleaned. It will also be numbed with anesthesia.
|Pathway of Catheter Toward the Heart|
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Immediately After ProcedureYou will be moved to a recovery room. The staff will observe you for a few hours for symptoms, rhythm problems, and bleeding from the catheter sites. You may feel groggy from the sedative.You will likely need to lie still and flat on your back for a period of time. A pressure dressing may be placed over the area where the catheter was inserted to help prevent bleeding. It is important to follow directions.
How Long Will It Take?3-6 hours or longer
How Much Will It Hurt?You may feel some minor discomfort as the catheter is inserted. You may feel light-headed, experience a rapid heartbeat, or experience chest pain during the freezing process.
Average Hospital StayMost patients stay overnight for further observation. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.
Post-procedure CareAt the Hospital
- The catheter insertion site may be bruised and sore.
- If the groin area was used as the insertion site, you will be instructed to lie in bed with your legs out straight.
- If the wrist or arm was used as the insertion site, you will not need to stay in bed.
- The insertion site will be monitored for signs of bleeding, swelling, or inflammation.
- Your vital signs will be monitored.
- Take aspirin as prescribed. It is often recommended for 2-4 weeks. This will help to reduce the risk of clot formation at the ablation sites.
- Return to any usual light activities, such as walking or taking the stairs. Refrain from heavy lifting or any strenuous activity for 24 hours. In most cases, you will be able to return to your normal activity level within a few days.
- Schedule a follow up visit with your doctor. The catheterization sites will need to be checked.
- Have atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia , you may need to continue antiarrhythmic therapy
- Are undergoing cryoablation of the AV node, you may require a pacemaker