Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is a procedure used to treat a type of heart arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Here is some information that may be helpful for patients undergoing this procedure:
The purpose of the procedure is to create scar tissue around the pulmonary veins, which are located in the upper left portion of the heart. This scar tissue helps to block abnormal electrical signals that can cause atrial fibrillation.
Patients may need to fast for a few hours before the procedure, and should inform their healthcare provider of any medications they are taking.
During the procedure, a healthcare provider will make a small incision in the groin and insert a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through a blood vessel and into the heart. The catheter is then used to deliver energy (usually radiofrequency or cryotherapy) to create scar tissue around the pulmonary veins.
The procedure typically takes a few hours to complete.
Pulmonary vein isolation is generally considered safe, but there is a small risk of bleeding, infection, or damage to the heart or blood vessels. Patients may also experience an irregular heartbeat or other complications after the procedure.
Patients will typically need to stay in the hospital for a day or two after the procedure, and will need to avoid strenuous activity for several weeks. Patients should also follow their healthcare provider’s instructions regarding medication and follow-up care.
It’s important for patients to discuss any questions or concerns they may have about pulmonary vein isolation with their healthcare provider. Patients should also inform their healthcare provider if they experience any new symptoms or changes in their condition after the procedure.