PVC Ablation

PVC ablation, or catheter ablation for premature ventricular contractions, is a medical procedure that involves using a catheter to locate and destroy small areas of heart tissue that are causing abnormal electrical signals and triggering premature heartbeats. To be able to perform a PVC ablation, frequent PVCs should be present during the procedure to precisely locate the target area.
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 use specialized 3D mapping equipment to construct a 3D map of the heart to gradually locate the focus where the PVCs are originating from. Radiofrequency energy is then delivered to the targeted area of heart tissue, creating small lesions or scar tissue that will destroy the abnormal area. In order to perform PVC ablation, frequent PVCs should be present during the procedure to precisely locate the target area. If no PVCs are seen during the procedure, the procedure will often need to be postponed.
The entire procedure typically takes normally 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 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 PVCs offering high likelihood of maintaining normal rhythm in the long term without medications. The long-term success rate for PVC ablation can vary between 70-95% depending on many factors, such as location of PVCs, underlying cause, burden of PVCs, and experience of the operator. 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, heart valves 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.
If you have frequent PVCs, discuss your case with an electrophysiologist. Catheter ablation may be an excellent way for you to eliminate the PVCs and to live your life without needing anti arrhythmic drugs.