Ablation is a medical procedure in which doctors use radio-wave frequency to reduce or remove tissue. Although ablation is a common procedure used to treat a variety of medical problems, it is most commonly used to treat heart arrhythmia, which occurs when tissue within the heart is improperly built up, causing a type of short circuit that blocks the electrical signals transmitted by the heart. Tissue buildup is frequently a negative side effect of previous coronary surgery or procedures. Ablation procedures are also commonly used to treat endometrial issues, surface tissues, and liver tumor removal.
Thermal injuries to organs and tissues surrounding the tissues to be removed are examples of medical injuries that can occur as a result of ablation. Ablation therapy is a highly specialized medical field that necessitates extensive training and proficiency. If you or a loved one suffered thermal injuries or other medical issues as a result of ablation treatment, contact our office right away. Our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.
A large number of people have heart surgery. However, a small percentage of these people are affected by errors made by the surgeon, doctor, or other members of the medical team. A misdiagnosis or a cut in the wrong place can result in severe injury, disability, or even death for the patient. If the error was caused by the medical team’s negligence, the patient may be able to sue the medical professional for malpractice.
When patients have arrhythmias or irregular heart rhythms, doctors may recommend a cardiac ablation procedure. The doctor will insert a needle into a vein in the arm, neck, or groin during the procedure. The doctor can then insert a sheath into the needle. The doctor can then use the sheath in the needle to guide catheters through the patient’s veins to the heart. Doctors may choose to inject a dye into the catheter, similar to an angioplasty. They can then use this dye in an X-ray to see the blood vessels and the patient’s heart, allowing them to better guide the catheter into the patient’s vein.
Electrodes are attached to the tips of the catheter that the doctor guides to the patient’s heart. This enables doctors to monitor the patient’s heart and deliver electrical impulses to the heart. These electrical impulses could be radiofrequency (heat), cryoablation (extreme cold), or lasers. The type of electric pulse used will be determined by the patient’s condition.
The doctor will identify the abnormal tissue causing the irregular heart rhythm once the catheters are near the heart. The catheter with electrodes on the tips will be directed at the abnormal heart tissue by the doctor, who will then send electrical impulses through the tips. These electrical impulses will either scar or destroy the damaged heart tissue, depending on the doctor’s goals.
Doctors will not always destroy abnormal heart tissue. The doctor will block the electrical signals that travel through the heart in this case. This blocking will stop the heart’s irregular rhythm and allow the signals to travel as they should.
The entire procedure will typically take three to six hours, though it may take longer in some patients. This procedure does carry the risk of some serious complications, including:
- Blood Vessel Damage: As the catheter travels from the insertion point to the heart, there is a chance that it will damage a blood vessel along the way, especially if the doctor is not careful.
- Electrical System Damage: There is a risk that the electrical impulses from the electrodes at the catheter tips will damage the heart’s electrical system. This could aggravate the patient’s irregular heart rhythm rather than improving it.
- Heart Puncture: The doctor may accidentally puncture the heart with the catheter’s tip. There is also the risk of damaging the heart valve.
- Burned Tissue: Because the doctor is mostly burning away the abnormal tissue in the patient’s heart, there is a chance that the healthy tissue surrounding the area will be burned as well.
- Blood Clots: Following a cardiac ablation procedure, blood clots in the patient’s legs may form. A pulmonary embolism occurs when blood clots break off and travel to the lungs.
- Kidney Damage: The dye that the doctor chooses to inject may end up causing kidney damage in the patient.
- Infection: The site of catheter insertion can become infected, especially if the doctor fails to prescribe the appropriate antibiotics after the procedure.
- Other Risks: Patients who have a cardiac ablation procedure may be at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.
In extremely rare cases, this procedure may result in the patient’s death. Many of these complications could have been avoided if the medical professionals involved had taken the necessary precautions.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, contact our office today. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano has assisted a number of clients in regaining peace of mind and obtaining justice for the negligent or careless actions of the responsible party. Contact Upstate New York’s experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.