I need to undergo cardiac ablation to treat my atrial fibrillation, how do I select a doctor?

Eectrophysiologist. I agree that an electrophysiologist wil provide the best information regarding catheter ablation. It is important to ask questions regarding outcomes and success rates. I would recommend a university setting for this type of ablation that will provide the best staff as well as equipment.
It's Tough. Finding the most competent doctor in your area can be extremely difficult. Send me a message and i'll get you a name or two of some nationally recognized people not too far away.

Related Questions

Can cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation cause damage to the coronary arteries close to the ablation site

Yes but it's rare. The coronary arteries, most specifically a branch of the left circumflex artery run directly beneath a structure called the left atrial appendage. Ablation in that region, or just behind it puts rf energy near that artery. However, the artery has very high flow (relatively speaking) and is thus protected from damage the majority of the time. Read more...

How safe is a cardiac ablation? Will it help to cure atrial fibrillation? If it does, will I have to continue taking medication

Usually safe. Although many serious complications can occur during an ablation, when performed by a skilled physician with plenty if experience in a good hospital it is usually very safe. When successful an ablation may allow a patient to come off medications prescribed for the arrhythmia which was ablated. Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia which can be cured with ablation. Read more...

At what point is one a candidate for a cardiac ablation to treat afib episodes are getting worse should I talk my cardiologist into an evaluation for?

2 drugs. Usually, you're a candidate if you've failed 2 drugs. Some electrophysiologists will consider ablation if you've only failed one and have other issues. You must be therapeutically anticoagulated for at least a month before and indefinitely afterward with inr consistently >2. Read more...

I understand that atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia. Is ablation used to treat only afib or other arrhythmia conditions?

Many dysrhythmias. Ablation is a procedure used to treat many different types of dysrhythmias; atrial fibrillation is only the latest in a long line of dysrhythmias treated successfully by ablation. Ablative therapy has been used to treat supraventicular tachycardias such as av nodal reentrant tachycardia, atrial flutter, wolff-parkinson-white and others. It is also used to treat types of ventricular tachycardias. Read more...
Usually. Ablation can treat atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, but can also treat other conduction abnormalities, such as wolf-parkinson-white (WPW) syndrome, which involves an abnormal electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles of the heart. Read more...
It varies. Catheter ablation is available for many different types of arrhythmias - ventricular tachycardia, svt, as well as atrial fibrillation. They are all a bit different in technique as well as risks/success rates. Read more...
It's Versatile. Ablation is great for a lot of different kinds of heart rhythms. Tens of thousands of ablations are done every year and the majority to substantial success. Read more...
Multiple conditions. Ablation is used to treat many different cardiac rhythm problems, both in the upper and lower chambers of the heart. It is safe and highly effective. Many patients may be cured of their rhythm problems with ablation. Read more...

What do you advise if I'm scheduled to have a cardiac ablation tomorrow, but not in afib right now?

GET THE ABLATION. PAROXYSMAL AFIB (IN AND OUT) CARRIES AT LEAST THE SAME STROKE RISK AS PERMANENT AFIB, AND IS OFTEN MORE SYMPTOMATIC. IF OTHER METHODS TO RATE CONTROL YOUR AFIB OR KEEP YOU FROM GOING IN AND OUT HAVE NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL (AS I ASSUME THEY HAVEN'T), ABLATION IS A VERY SUCCESSFUL PROCEDURE BEING DONE MORE FREQUENTLY. THE FIB PATHWAYS CAN BE INDUCED IN THE LAB, IF NECESSARY, AT THE TIME OF PROCEDURE. Read more...
Talk to your doctor. Assuming you are being abated for AFib, and you have had recurrences despite medications, then it may be a good sign. The success rates are higher for "paroxysmal" AFib than permanent. If you have concerns, then this is a good time for a second opinion. Read more...

How risky is an afib cardiac ablation on a 33 yr old with no heart disease or other significant problems other than a cspine herniation.?

Not very. >99% of patients who have ablation performed with have no serious complications. 80% will have lasting relief and the rest may need to have the procedure repeated and/or take medication after the ablation. Read more...
See below. If you are otherwise healthy and young the risks are low. Obviously you have significant cardiac rhythm abnormalities. Read more...
Small Risks. In general it is very low risk; however, atrial fibrillation ablation tends to carry some of the highest risk of any the catheter ablations. The worldwide data shows that af ablations have a risk of death of 0.15%, tamponade 1.3%, pseudoaneursym 0.9%, stroke 0.2%, TIA 0.7%, pv stenosis 0.3, and ae-fistula 0.04%. There is a small risk of pacemaker in some types as well. Read more...
Not very. You haven't specified what type of ablation you're planning on having, but generally speaking even for the most riskier procedures, with no other health problems, the overall risk of serious complications is 4% or less. Read more...