Treatments & Procedures

Minimally Invasive Heart Catheter Ablation Techniques

Today, many types of cardiac arrhythmias that were once treated with medicine or open surgery can now be treated using a minimally invasive technique called catheter ablation.

In many instances, doctors at the Florence Wormald Heart & Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth can use catheter ablation to stop or significantly reduce symptoms of atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia (VT), premature ventricular contractions (PVC) and other types of cardiac arrhythmias.

A nurse helps a patient

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Catheter-based Techniques

  • 3-D arrhythmia mapping – Before performing catheter ablation, your doctor will create a 3-D picture of your heart using an electromagnetic mapping system to locate the source of the arrhythmia.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (heat) – Our doctors use the THERMOCOOL® SMARTTOUCH™ Catheter to destroy arrhythmia-causing tissue in the heart. This newer device allows doctors to monitor the amount of force they apply to the heart wall during the procedure with greater accuracy, which can improve outcomes. We were the first facility in Greater Cincinnati to use this technique.
  • Cryoablation techniques (freezing) – Our doctors use specialized catheters to freeze the heart tissue that’s causing the arrhythmia. The cryoballoon technique uses a special catheter with a balloon tip. Once it’s inserted into the heart, your doctor inflates the balloon that’s filled with an extremely cold liquid, which destroys the tissue.

Implantable Cardiac Electronic Devices

Implantable cardiac devices continuously monitor the heart’s electrical system and provide automatic correction (an electrical signal) when an arrhythmia occurs to restore a normal heartbeat.

Your doctor will discuss which device is right for you:

  • Pacemakers – These small, battery-operated devices help regulate slow or irregular heartbeats.
  • Leadless pacemakers – These newer, smaller devices don’t require wires between the device and your heart. We’re the first facility in the area to offer them.
  • MRI-compatible pacemakers – Unlike traditional pacemakers that have metallic parts that aren’t safe with MRI scanning, these newer-generation pacemakers allow you to receive MRI scans safely.
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) – These devices detect and corrects life-threatening, rapid heartbeats.
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillators (CRT-D) – CRT-D devices are a combination pacemaker and defibrillator that regulate a fast heartbeat. We’re the first hospital in Greater Cincinnati to implant a customizable CRT-D.
  • Subcutaneous arrhythmia detection devices and implantable loop recorders (ILR) – Doctors use these surgically implanted devices to monitor your heart activity and rhythm long term.

Other Arrhythmia Therapies

  • Laser lead extraction – In some instances, doctors perform surgery to remove the leads (wires) from implantable devices. They may use this procedure if leads are damaged or there’s an infection, buildup of scar tissue or a blockage.

  • Cardioversion – Doctors use this technique to restore a fast or irregular heartbeat to a normal rhythm.
  • External defibrillator vest – This wearable defibrillator monitors your heart continuously and delivers an electric shock to your heart to restore normal rhythm during a life-threatening arrhythmia.

  • Watchman This device can help patients with AFib that is not caused by a heart valve problem who cannot tolerate long-term drug therapy, by blocking the source of blood clots that can cause strokes.

Innovative Arrhythmia Care

We’re the area leader in heart rhythm treatment – offering innovative arrhythmia procedures that not only relieve symptoms, but cure the underlying cause of the arrhythmia.

Unparalleled Heart Care

St. Elizabeth Edgewood has attained advanced certification by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association as a Comprehensive Cardiac Center, placing us in an elite group of hospitals that have met high standards to fully address the needs of patients with complex cardiac conditions.

The Joint Commission and American Heart Association Certification - Meets Standards for Comprehensive Cardiac Center