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Can You Be Too Young or Too Old for a Catheter Ablation?

As you undoubtedly know from your research and browsing our site, the cardiac catheter ablation procedure is minimally invasive and incredibly versatile. Further, being that it’s often curative for many heart rhythm issues, including Atrial Fibrillation, or Afib, it is often the best option for a wide range of patients. However, can you be too young, or too old to have a catheter ablation?

Catheter Ablation or Younger Patients

While Afib is more common in older patients, younger patients, as early as their teenage years can develop it as well. There’s not much, other than general health-related risks, that precludes a younger person from having an ablation.

Indeed, the benefits of an ablation may even be magnified as it can reduce the side effects of long-term medication, along with the risk of cardiovascular disease, and specifically heart failure later in life.

Our physicians routinely treat young and otherwise healthy patients. We find that results in younger patients are excellent.

Catheter Ablation for Older Patients

Our physicians perform catheter ablations on patients of advanced age – up to 90 – with similar results to those of younger age. However, as age advances, patient selection becomes more critical. There is nothing inherent to the catheter ablation procedure that causes undue risk on an older individual. Rather, it is general health, the ability to recover, and reaction to anesthesia (considerations made for any kind of surgical procedure) that is of special interest to us as we evaluate patients.

No matter what age, it is important to understand some basic guidelines to determine whether a catheter ablation is the best option. Ideal patients are those who:

  1. Have not had success with one or more antiarrhythmic drugs
  2. Have poor tolerance for the side effects of drug therapy
  3. Are at risk for, or who have, heart failure
  4. Are professional or high-level amateur athletes
  5. Have an acceptable surgical risk

Contact our office to learn more about cardiac catheter ablation.

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