The invention features a catheter system and a method for tissue ablation. A catheter body of extended length is constructed for delivery to locations within a body of a living being and for connection to a power source. An array of acoustic transducers are constructed for receiving power from the power source and for generating acoustic energy, in response to power received from the power source. The acoustic energy generated by the acoustic transducers is sufficient for ablation of tissue. A mechanism independently controls one or more of the ablation transducers to produce a desired acoustic energy pattern for ablating tissue at a select location spaced from the catheter system. The acoustic transducers have an annular configuration designed for generating acoustic energy that radiates in a radial pattern surrounding the circumference of the catheter body.