Cryoablation: Cryoballoon Pulmonary Vein Isolation
Whats on this page:
Pulmonary Vein Isolation.
The Cryoballoon freezes a circle around each of the pulmonary veins. This prevents electrical signals from entering or exiting the vein. Any abnormal firing from any of the pulmonary veins is trapped inside the vein and cannot trigger AFib.
Cryoballoon has many advantages over RF Ablation.
The Left Atrium is a very thin structure with the esophagus, pericardium, lungs, and nerves very closely related. RF is cautery. It is a powerful energy source that can easily heat through the left atrium and damage these adjacent structures.
Cryoablation removes heat from the tissue and causes less collateral damage.
The goal of ablation for atrial fibrillation is to encircle the veins with ablation lesions to trap the abnormal electrical signals inside the veins so that they cannot initiate atrial fibrillation. RF Ablation is performed with the tip of a catheter and is prone to leaving gaps around the pulmonary veins that are not completely ablated.
The Cryoballoon naturally creates circular lesions around the veins reducing the tendency for gaps.
RF catheters are difficult to keep in contact with the moving heart. Cryoballoon catheters freeze and stick to the area being ablated.
RF catheters create heat which creates char and craters in the atrial tissue.
Cryoablation doesn’t create char or craters. There is very little discomfort after the procedure and patients usually go home sooner than those who have had RF ablation.
Who should have CryoAblation?
AF causes significant symptoms. Palpitations can be mild or severe. Fatigue and difficulty exercising can occur with AF or be aggravated by medications. The main reason to have ablation for AF is to relieve symptoms when medications haven’t.
AF is a progressive disease. AF usually starts with brief or infrequent symptoms and over years becomes more frequent, longer lasting, and eventually may become permanent. This progression of symptoms is associated with increasing “scarring” in the atrial tissue. Ablation works best before AF has become too persistent.
AF increases the risk of stroke. The risk of stroke with AF depends on the patients age and associated conditions including hypertension, diabetes, prior strokes, and the presence of other heart conditions. Ablation is not proven to substitute for anticoagulation in patients at high risk of stroke.
AF aggravates symptoms and worsens prognosis in CHF. Medications for AF are problematic in many CHF patients and ablation is a promising alternative.
By far the most experience.
I have over 20 years of ablation experience and have performed over 275 Cryoballoon AFib Ablations. Because of this level of experience I am able to teach physicians both locally and nationally how to perform this procedure.
We also participate in clinical research to improve and document the results of AFib ablations.
Our cath lab staff is dedicated and experienced as well. Because of their professionalism and skill you can expect the safest and most comfortable experience possible.
We use the most advance computerized systems and imaging available anywhere, including Intracardiac Ultrasound and 3D Mapping.
Cryoballoon Ablation for AFib Works Well, and it it safe and well tolerated.
Contact us to see if it can help you.
What is it like to have the Cryoballoon Procedure?
The procedure lasts between 2 to 4 hours. It is done with anesthesia. Two IV lines are placed in each groin. The catheters are placed in the vein, not the artery. There is sometimes a urinary catheter placed in the bladder. The procedure is usually done on warfarin, and heparin is given during the procedure. The IV lines are taken out of the groin afterward and you will rest in bed for several hours and expect to go home the following morning. Feeling some soreness in the groins, throat, chest , or some mild cough after the ablation is not unusual. Severe pain is not expected.
Bed rest is important after the procedure to let the IV punctures in the leg heal so there will not be bleeding although some patients have bruising or a small knot in the groin afterward.
Warfarin and heparin are important for this procedure so that blood clots will not form on the catheters while working in the left atrium. This is how we keep we keep the risk of stroke low.
Careful movement of the catheters and use of ultrasound inside the heart reduces the risk of damaging the left atrium or pulmonary veins. Monitoring the function of the phrenic nerve to to the diaphram during ablation reduces the risk of phrenic nerve weakness.
How does AFib ablation work ?
Cryoballoon advantages over RF.
RF Ablation: Spot Welding?
Who should have Cryoablation?
Best Equipment, Most Experience.
See the Cryoballoon Movies.
Cryoablation: What's it like ?
Dr Svinarich Interveiw.