Belfast Telegraph

Michael Carrick Q&A

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has undergone a cardiac ablation after suffering from an irregular heartbeat.

He says he will soon be back in action after the procedure.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at what the former England international has gone through, with additional material from the British Heart Foundation's official website.

What has happened to Carrick?

He says he "felt strange" during a League Cup tie with Burton on September 20. A series of tests found "an irregular heart rhythm" which was investigated and treated using a procedure he called "cardiac ablation".

What is a cardiac ablation?

Also known as a catheter ablation, it is a drug-free procedure where tubes are passed through blood vessels into the heart. The area causing the problem can be found and then "destroyed using either heat (radiofrequency ablation) or by freezing (cryoablation)". This "creates scar tissue which breaks abnormal circuits and destroys area of the heart muscle which are triggering it", according to the BHF.

How long does it take?

It can take from anywhere between 15 minutes and four hours.

How quickly does it work?

The BHF says it "doesn't usually work immediately" but that after "8-10 weeks it'll be clear if it's worked or not". In his statement, Carrick referred to discovering the problem in the wake of the game against Burton on September 20 - eight weeks ago.

Are there risks?

According to the BHF there is a "very small amount of risk" but that a doctor would only recommend the procedure if "the benefits outweigh the risk". In a worst-case scenario, the BHF says, a pacemaker may be fitted.

What next for Carrick?

He says he is "healthy and training hard with the team", meaning that any worst-case fears will have been allayed, especially given United will have access to specialist medical advice. He says he is "building up fitness and aiming to be in contention soon".

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