Ollie Whitaker of Whitesburg is the first known patient to have undergone triple ablation surgery, in which a catheter is inserted through a patient’s blood vessels to remove a faulty electrical pathway and tissue from the patient’s heart. The procedure was performed at the University of Kentucky‘s Gill Heart Institute. (UK photo of Whitaker, Dr. Sammy Claude Elayi and Dr. Gustavo Morales)
“Typically, the catheter is placed into the patient’s femoral artery, internal jugular or subclavian vein. The catheter is guided toward the heart, and high-frequency electrical impulses are used to induce the arrhythmia and then destroy (or ablate) the abnormal tissue causing it,” reports Jodi Whitaker for UK Public Relations.