An ablation procedure can treat many kinds of medical conditions, such as:
- Heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Neck and back pain
- Skin lesions
There are a variety of ablation methods that can be used, depending on the patient’s medical condition. At Tampa General Hospital, our skilled cardiologists, electrophysiologists and other specialists complete a wide range of ablation therapies for our patients:
- Catheter ablation – For patients with heart arrhythmias, catheter ablation may be used to destroy tissue in the heart to block abnormal electrical signals that are causing irregular heartbeats.
- Cryoablation – This ablation procedure uses extremely cold liquid to destroy cancerous tumors.
- High-energy radiofrequency ablation – Often used to treat neck, back and joint pain, this procedure delivers heat generated by radio waves to nerves to temporarily halt pain signals.
- Laser ablation – Laser ablation uses laser heat to destroy tumors. It is typically used for brain tumors and skin lesions.
- Microwave ablation – This therapy destroys tumors using microwaves (electromagnetic waves that generate heat).
- Thermal balloon ablation – Used for patients experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, thermal balloon ablation thins the lining of the uterus. A thermal balloon is inserted into the uterus and is filled with fluid that is heated to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to Expect
Ablation therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that offers many benefits when compared to open surgery, including less time recovering in a hospital. Some patients are eligible to go home the same day as the procedure and most will experience minimal postoperative pain for a swifter recovery.
There are marginal risks to an ablation procedure, as complications can occur depending on a patient’s overall condition and the type of ablation they received.
Rare risks include:
- Bleeding at the puncture site
- Damage to blood vessels
The specialists at TGH always take the time to discuss the long-term outlook of an ablation procedure, as it can vary widely from patient to patient. Some patients may experience a total reduction in symptoms while others may need to have another ablation or a different procedure performed. Certain patients require medication long-term. It will all depend on your specific medical condition, the effectiveness of the ablation and your overall needs.