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Catheter ablation
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Catheter ablation

Quoting a reply to an archived post (posted by Marie Rios, 7/27/99), the success rate for the catheter ablation procedure for atrial fibrillation is 5-10%. Here are my questions:

1.) Is the quoted success rate accurate and why is it much lower than for atrial flutter?

2.) What are possible problems in the future due to scar tissue from catheter ablation and what treatments might be necessary after the ablation?

3.) Can an unsuccessful ablation procedure make it more difficult in the future to remedy atrial fibrillation using drug therapy?

Keep up the good work and thanks for the info.

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Dear Gunter,
In response to your questions:
Is the quoted success rate accurate and why is it much lower than for atrial flutter?  This is the quoted success rate for ablations of WPW and atrial tachycardias otaher than flutter.  The focus for flutter is not a single point but rather a circuit that may need to be ablated at multiple points along its course.  it is a much more invovled process and therefore may be more likely to fail.

              2.) What are possible problems in the future due to scar tissue from catheter ablation and what treatments might be necessary after the ablation?

Ablation may cause a hole in the heart requireing surgical repari in rare instances. Most complications occur early including the requirement of a pacemanker.

              3.) Can an unsuccessful ablation procedure make it more difficult in the future to remedy atrial fibrillation using drug therapy?  Not generally.
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