Mayo Clinic's approach

Mayo Clinic experts in the electrophysiology lab 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 disorders provide compassionate, whole-person care to people who might benefit from atrial fibrillation ablation.

A collaborative approach to care

Atrial fibrillation ablation is performed by heart specialists (cardiologists) with special training in heart rhythm disorders (electrophysiologists). They work closely with other experts, including cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, in the Heart Rhythm Clinic. Doctors trained in treating children with heart conditions (pediatric cardiologists) work with a team of experts to care for children with atrial fibrillation at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota.

Advanced treatment tailored to your needs

Mayo Clinic doctors perform every type of atrial fibrillation ablation procedure and will talk with you about which method is best suited to you.

The experienced team works in a dedicated Electrophysiology Laboratory using advanced mapping systems for EP study. Specialized techniques include multielectrode mapping, circular mapping catheters and 3-D heart mapping. With these tools, your care team accurately determines where to apply the ablation in order to give the greatest chance for success. In addition, mapping with imaging techniques such as MRI and intracardiac echocardiography reduces your exposure to radiation.

Mayo Clinic doctors use heat (radiofrequency energy) and cold (cryoablation) during atrial fibrillation ablation. The ablation is done using the latest innovations in treatment catheters and technology, including balloon catheters. In certain situations, a doctor may use robot-assisted catheter ablation.

After your procedure, your doctor will talk with you about the various devices available to monitor your heart rhythm after ablation, if needed. All devices are available at Mayo Clinic.

Expertise in atrial fibrillation ablation

Mayo Clinic doctors are respected for their expertise in cardiac ablation techniques. They perform about 1,500 atrial fibrillation ablations each year. Studies show there is a reduced risk of complications from cardiac ablation when the procedure is performed by an experienced electrophysiologist in a hospital that performs many of them.

Mayo Clinic experts specialize in treating:

  • Complex atrial fibrillation cases
  • Cardiac ablation in people who have had the procedure before
  • Ablation for adults and children with congenital heart disease

Mayo Clinic's experts help shape best practices for the treatment of atrial fibrillation worldwide. They participate in national and international collaborations to develop guidelines on treating atrial fibrillation. They regularly lead seminars to share new ideas with other physicians. And through publishing, they advance the standard of care for patients everywhere.

Learning about heart rhythm irregularities Learning about heart rhythm irregularities

Mayo Clinic patients learn about living with heart rhythm irregularities.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic experts in the electrophysiology lab Consulting in the electrophysiology lab

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

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Mayo Clinic doctors who specialize in heart rhythm disturbances (cardiac electrophysiologists) are recognized as experts who have made important contributions to the understanding of arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment. For example:

  • They were the first to report a relationship between sudden death with AV node ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation ablation.
  • They described disease progression in people with atrial fibrillation and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
  • They developed and tested new types of cryoablation balloons.
  • They developed diagnostic techniques through cardiac catheterization, such as intracardiac ultrasound.

Nationally recognized expertise

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

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

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's cardiac surgery and cardiovascular diseases departments' expertise and rankings.

Experience

Mayo Clinic offers one of the largest groups of electrophysiologists trained in performing cardiac ablation. Each year, about 1,500 people undergo atrial fibrillation ablation at Mayo Clinic.

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.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

March 24, 2018
References
  1. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Ablation of the pulmonary vein for atrial fibrillation. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
  2. Catheter ablation. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ablation. Accessed Oct. 13, 2016.
  3. Prystowsky EN, et al. Treatment of atrial fibrillation. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2015;314:278.
  4. Passman R. Catheter ablation to prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation: Clinical applications. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 4, 2016.
  5. Bonow RO, et al. Atrial fibrillation: Clinical features, mechanisms, and management. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
  6. January CT, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: Executive summary. A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2014;64:2246.
  7. Huang SKS, et al., eds. Pulmonary vein isolation for atrial fibrillation. In: Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 12, 2016.
  8. Calkins H, et al. 2012 HRS/EHRA/ECAS expert consensus statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation: Recommendations for patient selection, procedural techniques, patient management and follow-up, definitions, endpoints, and research trial design. A Report of the Heart Rhythm Society Task Force on Catheter and Surgical Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation. Heart Rhythm. 2012;9:632.
  9. Schaff HV, et al. Cox-Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation: Mayo Clinic experience. Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2000;12:30.
  10. Patel NJ, et al. Contemporary utilization and safety outcomes of catheter ablation of atrial flutter in the United States: Analysis of 89,638 procedures. Heart Rhythm. 2016;13:1317.
  11. Murphy JG, et al., eds. Atrial fibrillation and flutter. In: Mayo Clinic Cardiology: Concise Textbook. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press; 2013.
  12. Chatterjee NA, et al. Atrioventricular nodal ablation in atrial fibrillation: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology. 2012;5:68.
  13. Al-Hijji MA, et al. Trends and predictors of repeat catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation. American Heart Journal. 2016;171:48.
  14. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 27, 2016.
  15. Al-Khatib SM, et al. Planning the Safety of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Registry Initiative (SAFARI) as a collaborative pan-stakeholder critical path registry model: A cardiac safety research consortium "incubator" think tank. American Heart Journal. 2010;149:17.
  16. Wokhlu A, et al. Long-term outcomes of atrial fibrillation ablation: Impact and predictors of very late recurrence. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology. 2010;21:1071.
  17. Noseworthy PA, et al. Risk of stroke after catheter ablation versus cardioversion for atrial fibrillation: A propensity-matched study of 24,244 patients. Heart Rhythm. 2015;12:1154.
  18. Packer DL, et al. Cryoballoon ablation of pulmonary veins for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: First results of the North American Arctic Front (STOP AF) Pivotal Trial. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2013;61:1713.
  19. Fender EA, et al. Pulmonary vein stenosis after atrial fibrillation ablation. EuroIntervention. 2016;12(suppl X):x31.
  20. Mulpuru SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Oct. 10, 2016.

Atrial fibrillation ablation