Q: What is the percentage of great results from a catheter ablation?

Just like it’s different for everyone, the ablation success rates vary to some extent based on patient’s risk factors, what their heart looks like and how it’s functioning, and how long they’ve been in atrial fibrillation for.

So, we will start with best case scenario. If a patient has an otherwise healthy heart and they don’t have a lot of medical problems and their atrial fibrillation comes and goes. So, they’re not in atrial fibrillation all the time, their atrial fibrillation is what we called paroxysmal. Each episode of atrial fibrillation, to qualify as paroxysmal, has to be under seven days in in duration. So, if the episodes of atrial fibrillation are always, or almost always on their own, under seven days duration and we don’t have to shock the heart back to normal rhythm, we call that paroxysmal. And, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation ablation success rates with the smart touch catheter that we were talking about earlier, had been shown to be in the upper 80% range because we can apply those good lesions and make sure every burn counts and the success rates are really excellent.

And, the ablation success rates for patients that have sicker hearts may be as low as in the 50% range. So, there’s a wide range and that’s why you don’t want to ask your friend what they were told their success rates were, or if it worked for them. It requires, I think, a really thoughtful conversation with the electrophysiologist about what their chances of success are and what it’s gonna take to get there.

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