Radiofrequency catheter ablation destroys or disrupts parts of the electrical pathways causing arrhythmias, providing relief for patients who may not have responded well to medications, or who would rather not or can't take medications.
Dr. Gregory Feld, medical director of UC San Diego Health System’s Electrophysiology Program, has performed this procedure in thousands of patients over the past 20 years.
Our facility has been performing catheter ablation to cure atrial fibrillation since 2000. This condition, estimated to affect more than 2 million people in the U.S., is a common cause of stroke and congestive heart failure. Our team has extensive experience in the various approaches to ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF), including the use of the new Hansen Sensei robotic system to aid ablation of AF.
The robotic system aids in the precision of the ablation treatment for atrial fibrillation to within one to two millimeters of accuracy. Combined with software that creates a three-dimensional map of the heart, this new technology offers greater stability, reduces exposure to x-rays, and shortens the overall procedure time.
Catheter ablation techniques are used to destroy muscle fibers in the chambers of the heart that trigger and then sustain an abnormal rhythm. The success rate of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation is between 60-95%, depending on the duration that the patient has been in atrial fibrillation. This cure for atrial fibrillation is now minimally invasive compared to the conventional open-heart surgery used in the past.
- Catheter ablation for other atrial arrhythmias, including atrial flutter, and supraventricular tachycardia with or without Wolff-Parkinson-Syndrome, has been performed in several thousand patients over the last 20 years, with a success rate approaching 100 percent.
- Catheter ablation for ventricular tachycardia can also be performed, both in patients with and without other heart disease, with a success rate ranging from 70-95 percent.
Catheter ablations are performed in our newly remodeled electrophysiology lab, the most advanced in the region.
Video: Dr. Gregory Feld discusses atrial fibrillation
In this 2010 interview with KUSI, Dr. Gregory Feld talks about the causes and symptoms of atrial fibrillation, and how UC San Diego physicians treat it with catheter ablation in our newly remodeled electrophysiology lab.