Pulmonary Vein Isolation and
Medications to control atrial fibrillation, or a-fib, may lose their effectiveness over time for some patients. Using a special mapping technique, physicians at the Heart Rhythm Center are able to locate the origin of erratic heartbeats and perform a minimally invasive procedure to neutralize overactive nerves.
Ganglion mapping tests for the presence of a tangle of nerves, called ganglia, and defines their location. Pulmonary vein isolation, which follows mapping, is a procedure that is percutaneous, or conducted through the skin. In this treatment, Heart Rhythm Center specialists insert a catheter through the pulmonary veins to reach the most common source of atrial fibrillation problems. The veins are isolated and neutralized through heat from specialized lasers or radiowave energy. This cauterizing ablation provides a cure for many a-fib patients.
Because it is a minimally invasive procedure, pulmonary vein isolation shortens recovery time. Patients leave the hospital in a few days instead of after a week or longer with traditional open heart surgery.
For expertise on pulmonary vein isolation and ganglion mapping, contact the specialists at Abington’s Pilla Heart Center and Heart Rhythm Center.