Preparing for catheter ablation

You arrive in the morning on the day of the procedure; in some cases, patients are admitted the night before. Unless they were performed a few days prior to the procedure, some routine tests may be required, including an ECG, x-rays, and blood tests. Dr Kerwin will review your medical history and conduct an examination. You will be asked to sign a consent form. You are then transported to the EP lab where the procedure will take place.

A nurse will shave and wash the area where the catheter will be inserted – usually in the groin between the thigh and abdomen. In other cases, it may be in the arm, shoulder, or neck. Shaving and washing these areas make it easier to insert the catheters and lowers the risk of infection.

An intravenous (IV) line is inserted into a vein in your hand or arm, allowing medications to be injected directly into the vein should they be needed. Small sticky patches are applied to the skin of the chest, connecting you to an ECG that monitors your heart rhythm throughout the procedure.

While sedatives may be given in many cases, Dr Kerwin sometimes recommends general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure.