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Previously, the treatment of patients with cardiac arrhythmias was mostly palliative, involving lifelong dependence on medication. Moreover, in a significant portion (10% to 15%) of these patients, available drug therapy has been found unsatisfactory because of a lack of meaningful response or unacceptable, side effects. Surgical intervention has been the principal method of treatment in these cases. However, alternatives to surgery have been sought, in an effort to reduce the cost and morbidity of surgical treatment. During the past decade, minimally invasive microwave and radio-frequency (RF) cardiac ablation - in particular, RF cardiac ablation - has become a widely used procedure for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Minimally invasive intervention offers many benefits: long incisions are replaced with a puncture wound; major cardiac and pulmonary complications are sidestepped; the need for postoperative intensive care is significantly reduced; and, in many cases, minimally invasive intervention offers a "cure" without major surgery. Furthermore, it has important advantages over drugs that are merely palliative, and only alleviate symptoms. Namely, it avoids the side effects and inconvenience of chronic drug therapy.