About

Catheter Ablation

If you have been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia–a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat–your doctor may recommend a procedure called catheter ablation to improve your condition.

Facts about catheter ablation

Also known as a cardiac ablation or radiofrequency ablation, this procedure guides a tube into your heart to destroy small areas of heart tissue that may be causing your abnormal heartbeat.

Not everyone with a heart arrhythmia needs a catheter ablation. It’s usually recommended for people with arrhythmias that can’t be controlled by medication or with certain types of arrhythmia from the upper chambers of the heart. Less commonly, it may be recommended for people with arrhythmia that begins in the lower chambers of the heart.

The procedure

Catheter ablation can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. The procedure is usually done in an electrophysiology lab or operating room where you will be monitored closely.

Before the procedure begins, you will be given intravenous medications to help you relax; some people even fall asleep. In some complex cases, you may be put to sleep by an anesthesiologist.

After the medication has taken effect, your doctor will numb an area on your arm, neck, or groin and make a small hole in your skin. Then, the doctor will guide a thin guide wire and 2 to 3 small catheters through blood vessels to your heart. In some cases, your doctor may place several catheters, which are used to help guide the procedures.

After the catheter has been placed correctly, electrodes at the end of the catheter are used to stimulate your heart and locate the problem areas that are causing the abnormal heart rhythm. Then, the doctor will use mild radiofrequency heat energy to destroy or “ablate” the problem area. This area is usually quite small, about one-fifth of an inch. Other types of ablation techniques may be used, such as cryoablation, which uses very cold temperatures to destroy the problem area. Your doctor will decide which type of ablation therapy is most appropriate for you. Once the tissue is destroyed, the abnormal electrical signals that created the arrhythmia can no longer be sent to the rest of the heart.

Most people do not feel pain during the procedure. You may sense mild discomfort in your chest. After the ablation is over, your doctor will remove the guide wire and catheter from your chest. 

After the procedure

After the catheter ablation, you will probably need to lie still for 2 to 6 hours to decrease the risk of bleeding. Medical staff may apply pressure to the site where the catheter was inserted.  Special machines will be used to monitor your heart as you recover. Some people can go home on the same day as the ablation, but others will stay in the hospital for one or more nights.

Managing after a catheter ablation

Recovery from catheter ablation is usually fairly straightforward. In the days after the procedure, you may experience 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. Most people can return to their normal activities within a few days.

Contact your doctor immediately if you have unusual pain or swelling, excessive bleeding, or consistent irregularities in your heartbeat.

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

After your catheter ablation, be sure to follow all instructions from your doctor, especially regarding follow-up visits, medication schedules, and safe levels of physical activity.

Cardiothoracic Surgeons

Nazem Akoum, M.D., M.S., FHRS

Dr Akoum is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah. Dr Akoum studied Mathematics and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the American University of Beirut in 1997. He subsequently obtained his medical degree in 2001. Dr Akoum completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Indiana Univers... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

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

Roger A. Freedman, M.D.

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 t... Read More

Specialties:

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

Locations:

Eastern Idaho Cardiology Associates (801) 585-1935
Idaho Heart Institute (801) 585-1935
Star Valley Medical Center (801) 585-7676
Faint & Fall Clinic (801) 213-2033
University Hospital (801) 585-7676
William B. Ririe Hospital & Rural Health Clinic (801) 585-7676

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

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.
... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (801) 585-7676
Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital (801) 585-7676
University Hospital (801) 585-7676
William B. Ririe Hospital & Rural Health Clinic (801) 585-7676

Nassir F. Marrouche, M.D.

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-depa... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Arrhythmia Management, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-7676

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

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 cardi... 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 Chape... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology, Faint and Fall

Locations:

A location has not yet been added by this physician.

Zara U. Amoros, APRN, ACNP

Zara has been practicing as an Cardiology Nurse Practitioner (NP) since 2011. She started with Electrophysiology specialty where she practiced for about 9 months caring for patients with heart rhythm abnormality and then transitioned to General Cardiology caring for patients with more broad spectrum cardiac prob... Read More

Specialties:

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

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 581-2121

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.

... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Physician Assistant

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Jacqueline Cummings, PA-C

Jacqueline Cummings, PA-C, is the newest addition to the Cardiac Electrophysiology team at the University of Utah. 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 Humanities, and sub... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology

Locations:

Blanding Family Practice (435) 678-3601
Redwood Health Center
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 ot... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-5122
University Hospital (801) 585-3693

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 pathologie... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Physician Assistant

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-3693
University Hospital (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.
... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology, Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

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

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.
... 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 spe... Read More

Specialties:

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

Locations:

Redwood Health Center
University Hospital (801) 587-5888

Sara Hamele, APRN

Sara Hamele, APRN, is a nurse practitioner in the department of Cardiology with a focus on electrophysiology. Her interests include the treatment and management of cardiac arrhythmia patients, including pacemakers and defibrillators.

... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Tawni Lynn Jetter, N.P., APRN

Tawni Jetter, APRN, is a nurse practitioner at the Faint and Fall Clinic located in the University Hospital. As a nurse practitioner, her clinical interests include fainting, falling, orthostatic hypotension, passing out, autonomic dysfunction, and arrhythmias. Tawni has been able to present multiple research... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Faint and Fall, Geriatrics

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 213-2033

LeeAnn S. Kanamu, APRN

LeeAnn W. S. Kanamu, ACNP, APRN, is a Nurse Practitioner at the University of Utah, Division of Cardiology. As a Cardiac electrophysiology nurse practitioner, her academic interests include treatment modalities for cardiac arrhythmias; including Atrial fibrillation, other atrial arrhythmias, and ventricular arrh... Read More

Specialties:

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 581-2121

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
... Read More

Specialties:

Cardiology, Family Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Specialties:

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

Locations:

Uintah Basin Medical Center (801) 585-7676
University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Specialties:

Cardiology

Locations:

San Juan Clinic (801) 585-7676

Nancy M. Veit, APRN

Nancy M. Viet, APRN, M.S.N. is a nurse practitioner in the Interventional Cardiology Clinic at the University of Utah. As a cardiology nurse practitioner her clinical interests include interventional cardiology, electrophysiology and congenital cardiology. She is licensed to practice in Utah and Wyoming.
... Read More

Specialties:

Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Nurse Practitioner

Locations:

A location has not yet been added by this physician.

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 undergradu... Read More

Specialties:

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

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 585-3693
University Hospital (801) 585-5122

Jessiciah Windfelder, APRN

Jessiciah Windfelder, ACNP, APRN, is a Nurse Practitioner at the University of Utah, Division of Cardiology as the coordinator of the Atrial Fibrillation Program. As a Cardiac electrophysiology nurse practitioner, her clinical interests include the treatment and management of cardiac arrhythmia patients, includi... Read More

Specialties:

Adult Nurse Practitioner, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiology

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 581-2121

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
1020 North 27th Street
Billings, MT 59107
(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

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