Patients with atrial fibrillation may be offered a procedure called an ablation therapy or what we call pulmonary vein isolation. This procedure works very well in patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. We say that the success rate of this procedure can be up to 85-90% in patients who have newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. The reason this is the case is because the more AFib you have, the more damage you cause to your heart. The more AFib you have, your left atrium gets larger and bigger and it predisposes to more atrial fibrillation, causing the success rate of this procedure to decrease over time. So the way this procedure works is that we go in through both of your groin with catheters and we advanced the catheters into the heart. Like I mentioned earlier, atrial fibrillation happens in the upper left chamber of the heart. So this requires what we call a transseptal puncture where we puncture a hole in the septum of the heart to get the catheters into the left atrium and then we cauterize areas that we call triggers for atrial fibrillation. If this is done successfully and if you are what we call paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, that is you've only had atrial fibrillation for a short period of time where you don't have any mechanical damage to your heart, the success rate for this procedure can be up anywhere from 85 to 90%.
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