Patient Info

Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation, also known as Pulmonary Vein Isolation Ablation

Pulmonary vein isolation ablation is a treatment for atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm that originates in the top chambers of the heart (atria). The goals of treatment for atrial fibrillation include regaining a normal heart rhythm (sinus rhythm), controlling the heart rate, reducing symptoms, and reducing the risk of blood clots and stroke. 

Prior to the procedure, a series of test and evaluation procedures will be conducted to see if this procedure is appropriate for you. Pre-testing includes a history and physical examination, an electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram. A CT scan (computed tomography) is also undertaken to determine the size of your pulmonary veins and to ensure the absence of thrombus (clot) within the atria.

You will also need blood tests and your Cardiologist will prescribe a course of anticoagulant medication, for at least one to two months prior to your procedure. You will need to continue to take the prescribed anticoagulant medication for at least two to three months after your procedure or as advised by your Cardiologist.

You cannot eat or drink immediately prior to the procedure and your doctor will advise you of the duration.  Be sure to check with your doctor several days before your procedure as you may be asked to stop taking certain medications for up to a week prior to the procedure. This can help get more accurate test results. Also bring a list of all the medications you are currently taking. It is important for the doctor to know the exact names and dosages of any medications that you take.

The cost of this procedure is fully covered by most health insurances. Our secretaries will advise you if there is a cost to you at the time of booking. The findings of the procedure will be discussed with you and a report will be sent to your cardiologist and general practitioner.

Electrophysiology procedures including catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation is carried out at the Intra Epsom site in the Mercy Hospital on Mountain Road.

For further information please phone The Heart Group 09 623 6377.