About

Catheter Ablation

An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. If you have an arrhythmia, your healthcare provider may recommend a procedure called catheter ablation. It can improve or even cure your condition.

What is catheter ablation?

This procedure guides a wire into your heart to destroy small areas of heart tissue that may be causing your abnormal heartbeat. Heat (radiofrequency) or cold energy (cryoablation) are the 2 most common ways to destroy abnormal heart tissue. It is an alternative to long- term or lifelong medication therapy. It is also an option when medicine fails to control the heart rhythm problem.

What happens during the procedure?

Catheter ablation can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. It usually done in an electrophysiology lab by a cardiac electrophysiologist. This is a cardiologist with special training in the management of abnormal heart rhythms.

Before the procedure starts, you will be given intravenous (IV) medicine to help you relax. Some people even fall asleep. In some cases, you may be put to sleep with anesthesia.

After the medicine has taken effect, your doctor will numb an area in your groin. Rarely the arm or neck is used. Next, your doctor will insert several IV lines (IVs) into a blood vessel and advance them to the heart. Through these IVs, your doctor can insert several wires and a small catheter into the heart. A type of X-ray helps the doctor view the heart and wires as the procedure is happening.

After the catheters are positioned, your doctor sends heat or cold energy from the tip of the catheter to destroy (ablate) the problem area of cells. After ablation, your doctor will test your heart to make sure that the abnormal heart rhythm is no longer present.  Medicine to stimulate the heart may also be used to test for abnormal heart rhythms.

Most people do not feel pain during the procedure. You may sense mild discomfort in your chest or shoulder area. After the ablation, your doctor will remove the guide wire and catheter from your chest.  Pressure is applied to the insertion site to stop any bleeding.

What happens after the procedure?

After the catheter ablation, you will be told to lie still for 4 to 6 hours to decrease the risk of bleeding. Your heart rhythm will be monitored. You will be offered pain medicine if needed. Depending on how your heart is doing and what type of ablation procedure was done, you may be able to go home the same day. In other cases, you may need to stay overnight.

Managing after a catheter ablation

In the days after the procedure, you may have mild symptoms such as an achy chest and discomfort or bruising in the area where the catheter was inserted. You might also notice skipped heartbeats or irregular heart rhythms.

Avoid driving for the following day. Don't lift anything over 10 pounds for the next few days. Avoid exercise for the next 5 days, or until you see your doctor for follow up.

Depending on the type of arrhythmia being treated, catheter ablation can have a success rate of more than 90%. Some people may need to have the procedure again or other treatments for heart arrhythmias. Your doctor may want you to stay on medicine to help control your heartbeat. 

After your catheter ablation, follow all instructions from your doctor. This is especially important for follow-up visits, medicine schedules, and safe levels of physical activity.

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Contact your doctor right away if you have:

  • Unusual pain or swelling

  • A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Consistent irregularities in your heartbeat

Cardiothoracic Surgeons

Mihail G. Chelu, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. Chelu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. He obtained his undergraduate and master degrees in physics from Babes-Bolyai University and his medical degree from Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca. Subsequently, he joined Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for his doctoral degree. After compl... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

Redwood Health Center (801) 213-9990
Stansbury Health Center (435) 843-3096
University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676

Roger A. Freedman, M.D.

Patient Rating:

4.8

4.8 out of 5

Roger A. Freedman, M.D. has been a faculty member at the University of Utah for over 20 years. He specializes in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, particularly in the implantation and management of implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. Pacemaker and defibrillator lead extraction is a highly specialized technique in which Dr. Freedman is gre... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology, Pacemaker and Defibrillator Implantation, Pacemaker and Defibrillator Lead Extraction

Locations:

Idaho Heart Institute (801) 585-1935
Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (801) 585-7676
Star Valley Medical Center (801) 585-7676
University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676
William B. Ririe Hospital & Rural Health Clinic (801) 585-7676

Frederick T. Han, FACC, M.D., FHRS

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Dr. Frederick Han is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Han strives to give excellent care to his patients by providing open communication and individualized treatment. He makes every effort to provide evidenced-based care while also striving to ensure patient satisfaction.He obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees fro... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (801) 585-7676
South Jordan Health Center (801) 585-7676
University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676
William B. Ririe Hospital & Rural Health Clinic (801) 585-7676

Nassir F. Marrouche, M.D.

Patient Rating:

4.6

4.6 out of 5

Dr. Marrouche has dedicated his career to developing innovative research and clinical practices to advance patient care, diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias. In 2009, at the University of Utah, he created the Comprehensive Arrhythmia Research and Management Center (CARMA) bringing together a cross-departmental team of physicians, scientis... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Arrhythmia Management, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676

Ravi Ranjan, M.D., Ph.D.

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Ravi Ranjan, M.D., Ph.D., is a cardiologist specializing in cardiac electrophysiology. His clinical interests include ablation of complex cardiac arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardias and supra-ventricular tachycardias. He also has keen interest in cardiac device based therapy like cardiac resynchronization therapy, ICDs an... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-7676

T. Scott Wall, M.D.

Dr. Wall is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah. He received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from University of Texas at Austin and received his medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern. Dr. Wall completed his Internal Medicine Residency at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where he proceeded to complete... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

A location has not yet been added by this physician.

Shane Beeton, APRN

Shane Beeton, APRN, is a board certified family nurse practitioner in the department of Cardiology practicing in the Faint and Fall Clinic. His interests are helping people manage dizziness, fainting, falling, and frailty and treating and educating them to help prevent long term problems and provide the safest possible lifestyle. Shane received hi... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Faint, Fall, & Frailty, Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology
University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Danielle N. Brown, APRN

Danielle has been practicing in the department of Cardiology as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) since 2011. She began her career in the Faint and Fall Clinic, where she practiced for over a year working closely with a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals who specialized in faints and falls to quickly diagnose and treat the underlying cause... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 587-9333

William Cho, PA-C

William is a board certified Physician Assistant who joins our Electrophysiology team from New York City. His previous experience includes working in Cardiac Electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital and New York Methodist Hospital. His interests include management and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac device troubleshooting, 1st assisting... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Physician Assistant

Locations:

University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology
University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Lynette Evans, APRN, B.S.N.

Lynette Evans, APRN, FNP-BC is an ANCC board certified family nurse practitioner working primarily with heart failure and transplant patients at the University of Utah Medical Center. In addition to managing complications related to heart failure, she is involved in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of other cardiac pathologies. Lynette is ... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

Locations:

University Hospital
Heart Transplant Clinic
(801) 585-3693
University Hospital
Heart Failure Clinic
(801) 585-5122
University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology

Jacob Fetzer, PA-C

Jake Fetzer PA-C, MPAS is a board certified Physician Assistant working primarily with heart failure and transplant patients at the University of Utah Medical Center. In addition to managing complications related to heart failure, he is involved in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of other cardiac pathologies. He has enjoyed living in Utah the... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Physician Assistant

Locations:

University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology
University Hospital
Heart Transplant Clinic
(801) 585-3693
University Hospital
Heart Failure Clinic
(801) 585-5122

Brenda I. Fish, APRN, CCDS, M.S.N.

Brenda Fish, APRN, is a nurse Practitioner in Cardiology, specializing in arrhythmias and devices such as pacemakers, implantable defibrillators. She is licensed to practice in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada and participated in our Outreach clinics in these states. Brenda received her undergraduate and advanced degrees from the University of Ut... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology, Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

East Falls Orthopaedics Clinic (801) 585-1935
Idaho Heart Institute (801) 585-1935
University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676

Specialties:

Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center

Alexander Gouttsoul, PA-C

Alexander Gouttsoul, PA-C, is a Board-Certified Physician Assistant at the University of Utah Medical Center in inpatient, outpatient, and outreach services in Cardiology, Electrophysiology with additional interests in Congestive Heart Failure and international health. Alexander received his undergraduate degree in Health Promotion And Education (E... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Physician Assistant

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Paulina K. Gudgell, M.S.N., APRN, ACNP-BC

Paulina Gudgell, MSN, APRN, ACNP-BC has been practicing in the department of Cardiology as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) since 2010. She began practicing in the specialty of Cardiac Electrophysiology, where she practiced for 1.5 years treating patients with a variety of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, with a special focus on atrial fibrillation, al... Read More

Specialties:

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology, General Cardiology, Preventive Cardiology

Locations:

Redwood Health Center
University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 587-5888

Terri M. Hancock, DNP, ACNP-BC

Terri Hancock, DNP, ACNP-BC, is a board certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah. As a Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse Practitioner, Terri is interested in evaluating and improving the overall quality of care and clinical efficiency of cardiac and pulmonary surgery from the initial p... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

South Jordan Health Center

Kira D. Johnson, PA-C

Kira Johnson is a Board Certified Physician Assistant who joins the University of Utah Electrophysiology Team with over 10 years of cardiology experience. Her interests include both inpatient and outpatient care, pacemakers/defibrillators, and 1st assisting with EP procedures in the lab.  Kira completed her undergraduate studies at Pacific Lutheran... Read More

Caroline C. Keeney, B.A., BSN, DNP, NP-C

Professional APRN Clinical Experience: University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics, Salt Lake City, Utah: • General Cardiology, Nurse Practitioner. January 9, 2012 - Present • Palliative Care Service, Nurse Practitioner, June 1, 2011 - January 6, 2011 Professional Nursing Experience University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics, Salt Lake City, Utah: ... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Family Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676

Jacqueline M. Lunt, PA-C

Jacqueline Lunt, PA-C, is a Physician Assistant in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Originating from the plains of Texas, she initially ventured up north for her undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University. There, she majored in Microbiology with a minor in ... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology

Locations:

Blanding Family Practice (435) 678-3601
University Hospital (801) 585-7676
University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology

Erin S. Michaelis, APRN

Erin Michaelis, AGACNP is an Advanced Practice Clinician at the University of Utah School Of Medicine. She grew up in Southern California before completing her undergraduate education with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing at California State University, San Bernardino. She practiced for 15 years before attending University of California, Los Angel... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Dyspnea, Pulmonary Hypertension, Pulmonary Vascular Disease

Locations:

University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676

Specialties:

Cardiology, Family Nurse Practitioner, General Cardiology, Heart Failure, Interventional Cardiology, Valvular Heart Disease

Locations:

Redstone Health Center (801) 585-7676
Uintah Basin Medical Center (801) 585-7676
University Hospital
Cardiovascular Center
(801) 585-7676
University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology

Specialties:

Cardiology

Locations:

San Juan Clinic
San Juan Clinic
(801) 585-7676
University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology

Nancy M. Veit, APRN

Nancy M. Veit, FNP BC is a nurse practitioner in the Adult Congenital Cardiology Clinic at the University of Utah. As a cardiology nurse practitioner her clinical interests include interventional cardiology, electrophysiology and congenital cardiology. Nancy received her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Utah. She recieved her ... Read More

Jill Stratford Waldron, M.S., APRN

Jill Stratford Waldron, graduated from the University of Utah, with her Masters of Science in Nursing, and a Masters Certificate in gerontology. She is a board certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP) and gerontologist, with over 15 years of experience in cardiology and 5+ years in teaching undergraduate nursing students. She previously... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Geriatrics, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

University Hospital
Heart Failure Clinic
(801) 585-5122
University Hospital
Heart Transplant Clinic
(801) 585-3693

Laura C. Weber, APRN

Laura Weber, DNP, NP-C is a board certified nurse practitioner at the University of Utah, in the Division of Cardiology. She earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Utah in 2015. Her clinical interests include the management of cardiac arrhythmias and implantable cardiac devices. She is dedicated to providing excel... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital

Brittany Zobell, P.A.

Brittany Zobell, PA-C is a board certified Physician Assistant with ten years of general cardiology experience.  She works in the Electrophysiology section in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Utah, assessing and treating atrial and ventricular arrhythmias with an emphasis in atrial fibrillation.Originally from Louisiana,... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Physician Assistant

Locations:

University Hospital
Interventional Cardiology

Locations

University Campus
University Hospital
50 N Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
Map
(801) 581-2121
Neighborhood Health Centers
Parkway Health Center
145 W. University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058
Map
(801) 234-8585
Redstone Health Center
1743 W. Redstone Center Dr.
Park City, UT 84098
Map
(435) 658-9262
Redwood Health Center
1525 W. 2100 S.
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Map
(801) 213-8841
South Jordan Health Center
5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095
Map
(801) 213-4500
Stansbury Health Center
220 Millpond Road, #100
Stansbury Park, UT 84074
Map
(435) 843-3096
Other Utah Locations
Uintah Basin Medical Center
250 West 300 North, Ste 203
Roosevelt, UT 84066
(801)581-3495
Blanding Family Practice
802 South 200 West
Blanding, UT 84511
(435)678-3601
Castle Country Clinic
377 North Fairgrounds Rd
Price, UT 84501
(801)585-7676
Nevada
William B. Ririe Rural Health Clinic
6 Steptoe Circle
Ely, NV 89301
(801)585-7676
Idaho
Idaho Heart Institute
2985 Cortez Ave.
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
(800)824-2073
Eastern Idaho Cardiology Assoc.
2860 Channing Way, Ste 105
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
(208)524-2255
Idaho Heart Care
6140 West Curtisian, Ste 200
Boise, ID 83706
(208)367-4278
Montana
Billings Clinic
315 North 25th St 2nd floor
Billings, MT 59101
(800)332-7156
Wyoming
Sweetwater Memorial Hospital
1200 College Drive
Rock Springs, WY 82901
(801)581-3495
Red Desert Clinic
2761 Commercial Way
Rock Springs, WY 82901
(801)585-7676
Pinedale Medical Clinic
619 East Hennick
Pinedale, WY 82941
(801)585-7676
Star Valley Medical Center
90 Adams Street
Afton, WY 83110
(801)585-7676
Wilson Medical Clinic
5235 HHR Ranch Road
Wilson, WY 83014
(801)585-7676

Clinical Trials