Atrial Flutter Ablation

Atrial flutter ablation is a minimally invasive medical procedure that is performed using catheter-based techniques. During the procedure, the patient is usually given a mild sedative and local anaesthesia to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. The electrophysiologist then inserts small, flexible tubes called catheters into a blood vessel in the groin and guides it to the heart. Once the catheters are in place, the electrophysiologist will study the flutter to understand its precise mechanism and location of the electrical circuit causing it, and then use specialized 3D mapping equipment to map the electrical activity in the heart and identify the best place to ablate to eliminate that circuit and restore normal rhythm. Currently, radiofrequency energy is the main type of energy used in flutter ablation to deliver heat to the targeted area of heart tissue, creating a small line of lesions or scar tissue that will stop flutter from occurring again.
Fig 107
The entire procedure typically takes normally 2-3 hours to complete. After the procedure, patients will typically need to stay in the hospital for a short period of time for observation, but can usually go home the same day or the following day. Patients will usually need to avoid strenuous activity or carrying heavy weights for few days after the procedure before returning to normal daily activities.
Catheter ablation is an excellent treatment option for atrial flutter offering high likelihood of maintaining normal rhythm in the long term without medications. The success rate reaches about 95% for typical flutter and about 85% for atypical flutter. The procedure is generally considered safe, with a low risk of serious complications (often <1%). Some of the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure, include bleeding, damage to blood vessels, and blood clots. Patients may experience some discomfort or soreness in the groin or at the site of catheter insertion, but this usually resolves within a few days.