As part of our on-going collaboration with the American Heart Institute in Cyprus, I travelled to Nicosia to assist the team with two cases. Both patients had refractory ventricular tachycardia as a result of a cardiomyopathy. We needed to perform ablation both on the inside and on the outside surfaces of the heart. Both patients had a successful procedure. We believe that these were the first cases performed in Cyprus where the epicardial route has been used to ablate an arrhythmia.
Epicardial ablation requires the introduction of one or more catheters onto the outside of the heart. This is undertaken with a small puncture in the skin, just below the breastbone. The catheter is then advanced toward the heart. Most cases of ventricular tachycardia do not require epicardial ablation but in the few that do then this is usually successful.