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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Related Questions

Beside taking arrhythmia medicines, what are other option for atrial fibrillation? Does a pace maker or defibrillator cure a fib?

Ablation. After assessing the underlying cause of the fibrillation and measuring the size of the two atrial heart chambers, using echocardiography, one can predict the likelihood that the fibrillation will respond to electrical ablation using an intracardiac catheter. Defibrillation of atrial fibrillation might not prevent a recurrence if the underlying cause still exists. Read more...
Ablation. Catheter ablation (pulmonary vein isolation) can be curative. Although not curative, an av node ablation in combination with a pacemaker or defibrillator can usually eliminate the symptoms of atrial fibrillation. If you have obstructive sleep apnea using CPAP can greatly improve atrial fibrillation. Read more...

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

Electrophysiologist. A subspecialty of cardiology is specially trained and certified to perform this procedure. Have your pcp refer to you to one near you with the proper training and experience. Read more...
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. Read more...
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. 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...