Supraventricular tachycardia refers to a group of heart rhythm disorders that causes a rapid heartbeat and originates from one of the top chambers of the heart. These arrhythmias are typically not life-threatening but can lead to symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, fatigue, dizziness, or fainting spells. Treatment can include medical therapy or a catheter ablation procedure.
Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) is a congenital disorder in which the patient is born with an extra electrical connection between the top and bottom chambers of the heart. This can lead to supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation or even sudden cardiac death. First-line treatment for WPW syndrome is a catheter ablation procedure.
During a catheter ablation, electrode-tipped, flexible plastic tubes (called catheters) are inserted into a vein, usually in the groin area. The catheter tips are positioned at different locations inside the heart. Measurements of the heart electrical system’s health can be obtained and abnormal heart rhythms can be studied and mapped. The tip of a catheter can be used to burn or freeze the short circuit causing the heart rhythm disorder. If the procedure is performed successfully it is curative without the need for surgery or further medications. There are no residual scars and patients can usually resume normal activities within 1 week of the procedure.