Radiofrequency catheter ablation is a technique used to treat arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm created by a disturbance in the heart's electrical system. Catheter ablation destroys or disrupts parts of the electrical pathways causing the arrhythmias. With this minimally invasive technique, developed by UCSF experts in the 1980s, patients usually leave the hospital in one day, compared to open heart surgery, which requires a week-long hospital stay and months of recovery.