Patient golfing

Benefits and Risks

Atrial Fibrillation


Catheter ablation may treat atrial fibrillation. In combination with a complete program of treatment, catheter ablation may improve your quality of life and eliminate or reduce the unpleasant symptoms of atrial fibrillation like shortness of breath, fatigue, or weakness. Some patients may require more than one catheter ablation procedure. In some cases, patients may not require further drug treatment after receiving catheter ablation procedure1. Be sure to speak with your doctor about your condition.

The procedure may be an effective way to treat atrial fibrillation, improving patients’ quality of life.


As with any medical procedure, there are benefits and risks with catheter ablation. Some of the risks include stroke, pericardial tamponade, narrowing of pulmonary veins, damage to the phrenic nerve, damage to the blood vessels in your groin area, and a serious but rare risk of atrio-esophageal fistula. Other risks include irritation, infection, or bleeding occurring where the catheter was inserted; the heart could be punctured; fluid may build up around the heart, or in rare cases death may occur.

Remember to talk to your doctor about all benefits and risks that are specific to your condition, and any concerns or questions you have. Although many patients benefit from catheter ablation, results may vary. Your doctor can help you decide if it is right for you.




Medtronic Inc., Arctic Front Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter clinical reports, in support of FDA premarket approval.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.