cardiac ablation

Used for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm problems, cardiac ablation is performed at ST. FRANCIS downtown in Greenville, which is convenient to Upstate, SC and surrounding areas.

candidates for procedure

Cardiac ablation is a procedure that destroys areas in the heart that cause heart rhythm problems. During the procedure, small wires called electrodes are placed inside the heart to measure its electrical activity and destroy the bad areas of the heart.

Cardiac ablation can be used to treat heart rhythm problems, especially atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal, rapid heartbeat in which the upper heart chambers (atria) contract in a disorganized manner. This is caused by a disruption of the normal electrical conduction system of the heart.

Normally, the four chambers of the heart (two atria and two ventricles) contract in a very specific, coordinated way. An electrical impulse that signals your heart to contract in a synchronized way begins in the sinoatrial node (SA node). This node is your heart's natural pacemaker.

The signal leaves the SA node and travels through the two upper chambers (atria). Then the signal passes through another node (the AV node), and finally, through the lower chambers (ventricles). This path enables the chambers to contract in a coordinated fashion.

In atrial fibrillation, the atria are stimulated to contract very quickly and differently from the normal pattern. The impulses are sent to the ventricles in an irregular pattern, making the ventricles beat abnormally and leading to an irregular pulse.

Atrial fibrillation can be detected by an electrocardiogram, Holter monitor, coronary angiography, echocardiogram or electrophysiology study.

Some patients need only medication management to control their irregular heartbeat. For others, cardiac ablation can permanently cure the arrhythmia. Speak with a Greenville or Upstate, SC area St. Francis physician to learn more about this treatment option. 

surgical options

Cardiac ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure that begins in much the same way as a cardiac catheterization. A surgeon makes a small cut into one of the blood vessels in either the neck, arm or groin. Then, a small, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through this cut. The doctor uses live x-ray images to carefully guide the catheter up into the heart.

Once the catheter is in place, several flexible tubes that contain electrodes are run through the catheter. These are placed in different small blood vessels in the heart and are connected to monitors that tell what area is causing problems with heart rhythm.

One of the catheter lines sends electrical energy to the problem area to create a scar. The scarring causes the heart rhythm problem to stop.

St. Francis provides comprehensive cardiac care, including advanced treatments for irregular heartbeat caused by atrial fibrillation or other types of arrhythmia. Speak with a Greenville or Upstate, SC area St. Francis physician to learn more about these treatment options.

St. Francis Heart Care

1 St. Francis Drive
3rd Floor
Greenville, SC 29601



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