What is Epicardium Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) Ablation?
Ventricular Tachycardia is a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly.
There are times when it is better to identify VT from outside the heart in the epicardium, and correct the irregular heartbeat with ablation, a procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to destroy a small area of heart tissue that is causing the rapid and irregular heartbeats.
In order to perform an epicardium VT ablation on the outside of the heart, the most direct and safest route is the region just under the breastbone at the bottom of the rib cage.
The ablation catheter is positioned on the epicardium membrane, a membrane that forms the innermost layer of the pericardium and the outer surface of the heart.
From that position outside of the heart, the exact site of the heart rhythm problem can be identified and treated.
Why Might I Need Epicardial VT Ablation?
Your doctor may consider Epicardial VT Ablation if:
- Other endocardial, inside the heart, approaches have failed
- A catheter ablation procedure revealed an arrhythmia focus not located in the heart
- An electrocardiogram indicates that the focus is more likely to be located in the epicardial
Before you agree to the test or the procedure, make sure you know:
- The name of the test or procedure
- The reason you are having the test or procedure
- What results to expect and what they mean
- The risks and benefits of the test or procedure
- What the possible side effects or complications are
- When and where you are to have the test or procedure
- Who will do the test or procedure and what that person’s qualifications are
- What would happen if you did not have the test or procedure
- Any alternative tests or procedures to think about
- When and how will you get the results
- Who to call after the test or procedure if you have questions or problems
- How much will you have to pay for the test or procedure