Cardiac Ablation

An electrophysiologic cardiac procedure called a cardiac ablation can be used to correct certain heart rhythm abnormalities.  Usually, the heart rate is problematic because it is too fast or irregular. Some arrhythmias are life-threatening.

A catheter (long, thin tube) is inserted into involved large blood vessel, usually in the groin. It is then threaded through the blood vessels until it reaches the heart. Through the catheter, specially trained pediatric electrophysiologists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute use highly technological equipment to gather information from inside the heart and “maps” the right atrium, the chamber where the signals for the heart to beat originate.  The pediatric electrophysiologist then pinpoints the area of heart tissue that the arrhythmia is coming from. At this point, a cardiac ablation, a short burst of heat or cold to the area of troublesome tissue, can be used to destroy the area, and fix the abnormal rhythm. Radiofrequency ablation refers to radio waves being used to heat the tip of the catheter and cryoablation refers to cooling the end of the catheter to sub-zero temperatures to destroy the tissue.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologists at the Norton Children’s Heart Institute pediatric catheterization lab typically perform ablations on children age 4 and older. However, our pediatric electrophysiologists also perform ablations on babies when necessary.

Your child will be sedated (asleep) and won’t feel any pain during the procedure.  Your child may be able to go home the same day.

Medication can help arrhythmias, but ablation can fix the problem permanently.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.  Our pediatric cardiologists and pediatric electrophysiologists will know when it is best to treat your child’s arrhythmia with medications, and when it is best to proceed to cardiac ablation.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services conveniently located throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Why choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced cardiac intensive care unit available.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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