This procedure is performed for certain heart rhythm conditions such as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). In most cases, a “cure” of the underlying heart rhythm condition can be expected. It is performed under a general anaesthetic (with your child asleep and comfortable).

Catheters (long, thin and flexible tubes) are usually inserted in the veins at the top of the leg and threaded to the inside of the heart. Routine testing is then undertaken and this will then diagnose or confirm an underlying heart rhythm abnormality. Utilising an ablation catheter (a special catheter that can deliver either freezing or heating energy) the abnormal part of the heart can then be destroyed.

Your child will fast before the procedure (further instructions will be given). Typically, the procedure lasts for approximately 3 hours. Following the procedure, in many cases, children will be discharged home on the same day. If not, children will stay overnight in the Children’s Hospital at Westmead before being discharged the following day.

Follow-up with your specialist doctor will typically occur approximately 2 months after the procedure to assess the outcome.

Your specialist doctor will discuss this procedure with you in more detail if it is thought that your child would benefit from this procedure. The risks and benefits of the procedure will be discussed in more detail and any questions answered.

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is the only location where this procedure is performed in New South Wales. The procedure is undertaken in the shared services building between the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Hospital.