The ablation procedure is similar in set up to an EPS. Long flexible wires or "catheter electrodes" are introduced from a peripheral blood vessel into the heart and navigated to critical areas responsible for causing cardiac rhythm disorders.
Delivery of a focal energy source from the tip of the catheter, either high frequency radio waves causing heating of tissue or freezing cryoablation can be delivered at the tip of these catheters causing small discrete (4-5mm) irreversible areas of tissue destruction which render these abnormal areas of electrical activity non functional.
The rest of the heart function is unaffected and the lesions created are usually permanent. A curative catheter ablation approach is preferred by many patients who have recurrent symptoms which cannot be controlled by drugs or who do not wish to take drugs long term. This is an extremely effective form of treatment for arrhythmia, with long term studies showing successful ablation treatment is persistent over time, and that late recurrence of aberrant conduction is a rare event.