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    I am going to be having an atrial fibrillation ablation. What exactly is being ablated and what can I expect?
    01/15/2019

    I am going to be having an atrial fibrillation ablation. What exactly is being ablated and what can I expect?

    Atrial fibrillation or AFib usually is triggered by very rapid electrical impulses coming from the pulmonary veins. These are veins coming from the lungs that drain into the left atrium. There is heart muscle type cells in those veins with different properties than the rest of the heart that allow such rapid electrical activity. When we ablate atrial fibrillation, we either burn or freeze around the openings of those pulmonary veins to make a firewall that keeps those impulses from irritating the heart. In many situations, that is all that is required. However, in more advanced atrial fibrillation, there may be ablation required in other areas.

    AFib ablation is usually done with general anesthesia. Simple pulmonary vein isolation typically takes about two hours, but can go on significantly longer if additional ablation is required.

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