Mayo Clinic's approach

Mayo Clinic experts in the Electrophysiology Laboratory Cardiac catheter team performs an ablation.

A Mayo Clinic doctor performs a cardiac ablation procedure in the Electrophysiology Laboratory.

At Mayo Clinic, experts in heart rhythm problems provide compassionate, whole-person care to people considering atrial fibrillation ablation.

Experience you can trust

Cardiac ablation, including atrial fibrillation ablation, is performed by heart specialists (cardiologists) with special training in heart rhythm disorders (electrophysiologists). Mayo Clinic's skilled electrophysiologists working in the Electrophysiology Laboratory.

Mayo Clinic doctors perform every type of atrial fibrillation ablation procedure and will talk with you about which method is best for you. Studies show there is a reduced risk of complications from cardiac ablation when the procedure is done by an experienced electrophysiologist in a hospital that performs many procedures.

Mayo Clinic experts in the Electrophysiology Laboratory Consulting in the Electrophysiology Laboratory

A doctor (right) works with an Electrophysiology Laboratory colleague to provide exactly the care each person needs.

Note: Items within this content were created prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and do not demonstrate proper pandemic protocols. Please follow all recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for masking and social distancing.

Mayo Clinic doctors are helping shape best practices for the treatment of atrial fibrillation worldwide. They participate in national and international meetings to develop treatment guidelines for atrial fibrillation. Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers have contributed to the understanding of arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment in important ways:

  • First reported a relationship between sudden death with AV node ablation in people treated with atrial fibrillation ablation
  • Described disease progression in people with atrial fibrillation and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
  • Developed and tested new types of balloon devices to deliver cold energy (cryoablation) during catheter treatment for atrial fibrillation
  • Developed new ways to diagnosis atrial fibrillation using cardiac catheterization, such as intracardiac ultrasound

Collaborative approach to care

At Mayo Clinic, electrophysiologists work closely with other experts, including cardiologists, pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, in the Heart Rhythm Clinic to understand your heart arrhythmia and recommend the treatment options that will work best for you. Doctors trained in treating children with heart conditions (pediatric cardiologists) work with a team of experts to care for children with arrhythmias at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. This team approach helps ensure that you receive exactly the care you need.

The most advanced treatment systems

Mayo Clinic doctors perform cardiac ablation procedures using the latest and most advanced technology.

The experienced staff uses advanced cardiac mapping systems, including multielectrode mapping and 3D heart mapping, during an electrophysiology (EP) study to decide where to accurately apply cardiac ablation treatment. This type of mapping combined with intracardiac echocardiography reduces your exposure to radiation.

Your doctor will choose the type of cardiac ablation that's best for you and your specific condition. Heat (radiofrequency) energy or cold (cryoablation) is applied using the latest innovations in treatment catheters and technology, such as balloon and robotic catheters.

Learning about abnormal heart rhythms

Mayo Clinic patients learn about living with abnormal heart rhythms.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic electrophysiologists are recognized as experts in their field who have made important contributions to the understanding of arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment. Each year, about 1,700 people have cardiac ablation at Mayo Clinic.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic campuses are nationally recognized for expertise in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery:

  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Children's Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

With Mayo Clinic's emphasis on collaborative care, specialists at each of the campuses — Minnesota, Arizona and Florida — interact very closely with colleagues at the other campuses and the Mayo Clinic Health System.

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's expertise and rankings in cardiovascular medicine.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies of tests and procedures to help prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions.

March 31, 2021
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  2. Catheter ablation. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/catheter-ablation. Accessed Jan. 21, 2021.
  3. Zipes DP, et al., eds. Catheter ablation: Technical aspects. In: Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 2, 2021
  4. Passman R, et al. Atrial fibrillation: Catheter ablation. http://www.uptodate.com/search. Accessed Feb. 5, 2021.
  5. Bonow RO, et al. Atrial fibrillation: Clinical features, mechanisms, and management. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Elsevier; 2019. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 2, 2021
  6. January CT, et al. 2019 AHA/ACC/HRS focused update of the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society in collaboration with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation. 2019; doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000665.
  7. Wang R, et al. Sudden death and its risk factors after atrioventricular junction ablation and pacemaker implantation in patients with atrial fibrillation. Clinical Cardiology. 2017; doi:10.1002/clc.22600.
  8. Calkins H, et al. 2017 HRS/EHRA/ECAS/APHRS/SOLAECE expert consensus statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. Europace. 2018; doi:10.1093/europace/eux274.
  9. Lee R. Surgical ablation to prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 2, 2021.
  10. Mulpuru SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Oct. 10, 2016.
  11. Noseworthy PA, et al. Atrial fibrillation ablation in practice: Assessing CABANA generalizability. European Society of Cardiology. 2019; doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehz085.
  12. Arrhythmia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/arrhythmia. Accessed Jan. 21, 2021.
  13. Al-Hijji MA, et al. Trends and predictors of repeat catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation. American Heart Journal. 2016; doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2015.10.015.
  14. Brown AY. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Feb. 4, 2021.
  15. Packer DL, et al. Effect of catheter ablation vs antiarrhythmic drug therapy on mortality, stroke, bleeding, and cardiac arrest among patients with atrial fibrillation. JAMA. 2019; doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0693.
  16. Ganz LI. Overview of catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 2, 2021.
  17. Noseworthy PA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Feb. 5, 2021.
  18. Knight BP, et al. Long-term outcomes after ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation using the second-generation cryoballoon: Final results from STOP AF Post-Approval Study. JACC Clinical Electrophysiology. 2019; doi:10.1016/j.jacep.2018.11.006

Atrial fibrillation ablation