Supraventricular tachycardia ablation (SVT)

Supraventricular tachycardia ablation (SVT) is a procedure to create scar tissue in the heart to block abnormal electrical signals and restore normal heart rhythm.

SVT ablation is used to treat heart rhythm problems that affect the upper chambers of the heart and cause abnormally fast or irregular heartbeat.

Ablation of supraventricular tachycardia can restore normal heart rhythm, which can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Why is SVT ablation performed?

SVT ablation may be an option for people with supraventricular tachycardias, including:

  • Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT)
  • Atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT), including Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, orthodromic atrioventricular reentry tachycardia, and antidromic atrioventricular reentry tachycardia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial tachycardia

Depending on your condition, SVT ablation may be one of the first treatment options or may be reserved as an option when other treatments do not work. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of treatment, including SVT ablation.

SVT ablation may be an option for children with supraventricular tachycardia. SVT ablation is mainly reserved for children who have not responded to other treatments or are at high risk of complications associated with their heart disease.

What to expect during abrasion of supraventricular tachycardia

SVT ablation is performed in a hospital. You will be given a medicine called a sedative that helps you relax.

When the sedative starts to work, a small area near the vein in the groin or neck is “numb” and catheters are inserted into the vein.

The doctor carefully leads the catheters through a vein and enters your heart. Catheters are equipped with electrodes that are used to record the electrical activity of your heart and to send electrical impulses. The doctor uses this information to determine the best place to apply SVT ablation treatment.

Special catheters are used to transmit electricity (radiofrequency ablation) or cold (cryoablation) to the target area, causing scarring. Ablation-induced lesions aim to block electrical signals that contribute to your arrhythmia.


Duration of SVT ablation and recovery

Supraventricular tachycardia ablation usually takes three to six hours. You will then be taken to a recovery area where your condition will be closely monitored. You will probably stay in the hospital overnight.

Your doctor will schedule check-ups to monitor your heart. Most people experience an improvement in quality of life after SVT ablation. But there is a chance that your fast heart rate will return. In these cases, the procedure may be repeated or the doctor may consider other treatments.