All you need to know..
1. What does an RFA stand for?
RFA stands for radiofrequency ablation. It uses radiofrequency energy to get rid of abnormal current circuits in the heart.
2. What is the benefit I will get by undergoing RFA?
RFA is done to get rid of abnormal electric circuits in your heart. Once it is done you will be free of sudden onset palpitations and fainting which were because of these circuits.
3. How is RFA done?
RFA is done by placing wires in the heart through the groin and neck. Through these wires, we stimulate different parts of your heart. This will help us identify the presence of abnormal electric circuits in your heart. Once the exact location of these circuits is identified they are treated by delivering radiofrequency energy over them.
4. Will it hurt me when I undergo the procedure of having a Radiofrequency Ablation?
No, it will not hurt you as the procedure will be done under local anesthesia. It will only hurt as much as a mosquito bite, the moment when the local anesthesia injection is given. After that injection is given, the medicine will act, and you will not have any pain. Once we identify the abnormal circuit, we remove it by delivering radiofrequency energy. This is usually given for 2minutes. Some patients feel a discomfort in the chest when this treatment is given.
5. Will I be awake during the procedure?
You will be awake for the procedure and can have a chat with your doctor as he does it. However, you may feel sleepy due to the medicines given and you are welcome to take a nap if you feel inclined to doing so. We will wake you up after it is over. Sometimes you may not be awake if it is a complex ablation done under general anesthesia.
6. What is the cost of a Radiofrequency Ablation?
The cost of RFA depends on whether it is simple or complex. A simple RFA costs Rs 78,000 all-inclusive [bed charge, nursing care, procedure costs, doctor’s fees]. A complex ablation can cost between Rs. 1,35,000 to Rs. 3,00,000 all-inclusive depending on the gadgets used for the procedure.
7. Who will do my procedure?
Your procedure will be done by one of the six consultants in the Cardiac Electrophysiology Unit. They include Dr. David Chase, Dr. John Roshan, Dr. Sirish Chandra Srinath, Dr. Anand, Dr.Hariharan and Dr.Javaid. All of them have vast experience in doing these procedures. If you have been a private patient of one of them then the particular doctor you saw will do your procedure. In case your doctor is unwell and not available, your procedure will be done by one of the other five so as to not keep you waiting.
8. How long does the procedure take?
The simple RFA procedure takes about 2 to 4 hours. A complex RFA procedure takes 4 to 10 hours.
9. Do I have to get admitted for the procedure?
You will need to be admitted for 1 or 2 nights depending on the nature of your procedure.
10. Will I feel anything during the procedure?
When we stimulate your heart, you may feel palpitations or chest-pounding. Sometimes patients feel momentary flushing when a special injection called adenosine is given during the study. At the time of delivery of radiofrequency energy, some patients feel some chest discomfort. Pain medicines are given to minimize discomfort.
11. Will the RFA cure me of my problem?
The RFA is curative in most simple electric circuits. In patients with complex electric circuits, RFA helps reduce the disease burden. Reducing the number of abnormal electric circuits reduces the symptoms and in some cases increases life expectancy.
12. Can I do all normal activities after the RFA?
You will be able to resume all the activities that you were doing prior to the procedure; 6-8 hours after it.
13. Are there any complications?
It is rare to have complications after RFA. The commonest complication is a blood clot in the groin causing blackish purple discoloration of the overlying skin. The other complications are related to the specific electric circuit abnormality, and your doctor will discuss this with you prior to the procedure.
14. What happens next in my treatment?
RFA done for simple arrhythmias is curative. You need to review with us once a year after which you do not have to come back to the hospital.
RFA for complex arrhythmias helps us minimize your medications. You will need to follow up in a week to 6 months depending on the condition based on your doctor’s advice.