During catheter ablation

After performing the EP study to determine the precise location of your arrhythmias, Dr Kerwin guides an ablation catheter into the heart. The ablation procedure involves delivering energy through the ablation catheter, which is in contact with the target heart tissue. The energy destroys the part of the abnormal pathway which the catheter touches, producing what is called a “lesion.”

The typical lesion is about the size of a kernel of corn and is too small to weaken the heart in any way. The lesion stops the short circuit that caused the abnormal heart rhythm – but this may be because it is destroyed or just stunned. Therefore, Dr Kerwin waits for about 30 minutes or so and does another EP study to see if the short circuit regains function or not. If it wakes up again or if a second short circuit is seen, then the mapping and ablation procedure is repeated. Usually by the end of the procedure, no further arrhythmia can be caused and the procedure is considered successful.