Catheter-Based Ablation Procedures for Atrial Fibrillation

A minimally invasive procedure called ablation can help the heart achieve and maintain a normal rhythm.

Ablation removes or destroys (ablates) a small amount of tissue responsible for the abnormal heart rhythm of atrial fibrillation.

Specialists at the Center for Atrial Fibrillation are experts at ablation techniques and have authored book chapters and research publications on the subject.

Types of Ablation

  • Radiofrequency ablation uses radio energy to apply heat to the tip of the catheter to cauterize the heart tissue.
  • Cryoablation uses extreme cold to freeze and scar the heart tissue.

What to Expect During an Ablation Procedure

During ablation therapy, the doctor:

  • Inserts a small tube or thin wire (catheter) in the veins to gain access to your heart's electrical conduction system.
  • Uses advanced imaging techniques to observe and guide the procedure.
  • Applies either heat (radiofrequency ablation) or cold (cryoablation) to the heart tissue.

Contact the Center for Atrial Fibrillation

Call us at 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484), email us, or request an appointment online.

Additional Resources

From our Health Library:

EMMI patient education videos:

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