North Colorado Medical Center's specialists in irregular heartbeats perform heart ablation procedures not offered at other hospitals.
Our physicians are board certified and fellowship trained, giving them the experience and training to perform the most advanced heart ablations to treat some types of irregular heartbeats.
Heart ablation can treat ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. Ablation procedures done at NCMC can often cure irregular heartbeats, meaning patients don't need to take medication for the rest of their lives.
NCMC currently offers the following heart ablation procedures:
- Cryoballoon ablation (in trial)
- Radio frequency ablation
- Tachycardia ablation
Who can benefit from heart ablation?
People who are good candidates for heart ablation surgery:
- Have an irregular heartbeat not controlled by medication.
- Do not tolerate the side effects of medications well.
- Have specific types of irregular heartbeats that can improve with ablation.
- Have abnormal heart rhythms that may be life threatening.
What happens during heart ablation?
Most heart ablation surgeries are performed using one or more catheters (small, thin tubes), inserted into the patient’s groin and neck areas. The electrophysiologist inserts the catheters into large veins and guides them to a specific area of the heart. The patient may be awake but should not feel pain during the procedure.
Once the catheters are positioned, the electrophysiologist uses a pacemaker to deliver electrical impulses to the heart and determine the source of the irregular heartbeat. Then an ablation machine is used to create a scar which blocks the irregular electrical impulses from entering the patient’s veins.
Typically patients who receive heart ablation procedures remain in the hospital for one to two days for monitoring. They may have some discomfort in their chest for a few days but the pain will diminish.
Heart ablation can also be done surgically. A North Colorado Medical Center physician makes small keyhole incisions between the ribs, through which a tiny camera and video guided instruments are inserted.