- High success rates with catheter ablation
- Catheter ablation may provide benefits over long-term pharmacological therapy in terms of Afib-free and overall survival
- Randomized, controlled clinical studies demonstrate the benefits of catheter ablation over more traditional therapies
- Radiofrequency catheter ablation is considered safe
- Catheter ablation is cost effective compared to pharmacological therapy
Catheter ablation is cost effective compared to pharmacological therapy
As a final consideration, the costs of catheter ablation should be briefly addressed, especially considering the epidemic proportions of Afib, which is costly to manage and treat on a year-to-year basis and is a significant burden on overall patient load. Ablation procedures can have an initial cost that is apparently high compared to pharmacological therapy, although a recent study has shown that the costs are recovered within five years following ablative intervention. In fact, pharmacological costs were found to be €1590 per year compared to €445 per year, following an initial investment of €4715 (ref. 32). Moreover, the overall burden on healthcare resources are also significantly reduced, with a lower number of clinical visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalization days. This resulted in costs that were reduced more than 20-fold in another recent study (ref. 33). Thus, in summary, while the initial costs of catheter ablation are higher than medical therapy the overall costs and burden on all healthcare resources are significantly reduced, making catheter ablation highly cost effective.