Radiofrequency cardioablation for atrial fibrillation

Radiofrequency cardioablation is a type of catheter ablation where the surgeon uses catheters to deliver energy similar to microwave heat, called radiofrequency energy, to the cells that are causing arrhythmia. This kills the affected cells. Dr Dongo may recommend radiofrequency cardioablation if you are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, where conservative treatment has not improved your symptoms.

Atrial fibrillation is a common type of heart arrhythmia (irregular and often rapid heart rate) which may interrupt the normal flow of blood. This may increase the risk of heart failure, stroke, blood clots and other heart-related conditions. When atrial fibrillation occurs, the heart's upper chambers beat irregularly and rapidly out of coordination, which then interrupts the blood flow to the lower chambers and throughout the body.

What are the related symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Symptoms of atrial fibrillation may not be noticeable, but when they are noticeable, they may include:

  • Heart palpitations such as your heart skipping a beat, beating too fast or hard, or fluttering
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Exercise intolerance

These atrial fibrillation symptoms may come and go depending on the severity of your condition. Seek medical attention if these symptoms continue over several days as they may indicate chronic atrial fibrillation.

What does radiofrequency cardioablation entail?

During the procedure, you will be under general anaesthesia, and Dr Dongo will insert catheters through the groin and blood vessels to your heart, with the use of live x-ray images. After the catheters have been inserted, the surgeon will then place small electrodes in different areas of your heart. The tip of the catheter produces radiofrequency energy and destroys the area of the heart's tissue that is causing irregular and rapid heartbeats. Following that, scar tissue forms, helping to return the heart to its normal state.


A cardiothoracic surgeon is a specialist medical doctor who performs operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. Dr Lehlohonolo Dongo's Qualifications.


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