Heart Ablation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Find answers to your questions about cardiac arrhythmias.

What Is Heart Ablation?

Heart ablation (also called cardiac ablation) is a procedure that can treat abnormally fast heartbeats by selectively ablating, or creating scars, in small areas of heart tissue that your doctor has identified as causing the arrhythmia. 

How cardiac ablation works

By permanently scarring abnormal heart tissue, your doctor redirects your heart’s electrical signals so your heart beats normally again.

There are two general types of cardiac ablation: catheter ablation and surgical ablation. During catheter ablation, a doctor threads several catheters—special long, flexible tubes with wires—into your heart to study your arrhythmia and to deliver radio frequency energy to scar the areas of your heart responsible for the abnormal rhythm. In surgical ablation, often done when patients are undergoing other surgical procedures on their hearts, you doctor makes small cuts in your heart tissue, or uses other means, to scar the heart tissue.

The St. Jude Medical commitment to cardiac ablation patients

Since the first implantable pacemaker was developed in 1958, millions have benefited from pacemaker therapy. The remarkable story of the first cardiac pacemaker is embedded in St. Jude Medical’s history, and today, St. Jude Medical continues its commitment to revolutionizing health care. Not only do we provide doctors with the diagnostic and ablation catheters to treat arrhythmia patients like you, but we also create high-tech equipment that help doctors enhance their care of their patients.