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Getting Treatment

Receiving Cardiac Arrhythmia Treatment

Receiving treatment for your arrhythmia—whether that treatment is getting a pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator or cardiac ablation—is a major step toward feeling better. Depending on your condition and the type of procedure you need, you may even be able to go home the same day.

Procedures to implant pacemakers and ICDs 

Implanted cardiac devices—pacemakers and ICDs—consist of leads (thin insulated wires) and a minicomputer. Your doctor will place and attach the leads into your heart, connect them to the device and tuck the device in your chest under your skin. The surgery can take several hours, depending on how easily the medical team finds the optimal place for the leads.

Learn more about implant procedures for pacemakers and ICDs.

Cardiac ablation procedures

Cardiac ablation occurs in two main forms: catheter ablation and surgical ablation. Catheter ablation involves your doctor threading catheters, or special thin, flexible tubes with wires, through your blood vessels into your heart. Surgical ablation is often performed during surgery for another heart condition. It may or may not involve open-heart surgery. Both catheter ablation and surgical ablation involve selectively scarring specific areas of heart tissue in order to block irregular electrical signals.

Learn more about cardiac ablation procedures.

Immediate recovery

Taking good care of yourself is important, and so is being aware of your body and your mental health. If after your cardiac arrhythmia treatment you experience any signs of infection, heart trouble or depression, contact your doctor right away. Keep all scheduled appointments after your procedure, and share ideas with your family and friends about how they can help you during your recovery.

Learn more about recovering immediately after your procedure.