Special Technology Freezes Out A-Fib-Causing Tissue
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is pleased to offer the relatively new and highly effective cryoballoon ablation treatment for patients with certain types of atrial fibrillation. This minimally invasive technique is especially effective in treating paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF), in which A-fib symptoms occur intermittently. Cryoballoon ablation is a form of catheter ablation which uses cryo, or freezing, energy rather than heat to precisely disable heart tissue that causes irregular heartbeats.
Safe with low risk for complications, cryoballoon ablation can be simpler to perform than other ablation procedures because it does not require the use of complex, three-dimensional mapping systems. The equipment was designed specifically to help electrophysiologists reach and treat tissue quickly and efficiently. The balloon design offers the ability to treat larger areas of tissue at the same time, also simplifying the procedure.
About Cryoballon Ablation
As with other forms of catheter ablation, the electrophysiologist will start the procedure by making a small puncture in the groin area, leg or arm so that a catheter can be inserted. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area. The physician will thread the catheter to the left atrium of the heart and the cryoballoon catheter will be inserted. Next, the physician will inflate the balloon and fill it with liquid refrigerant. Tissue that comes in contact with the balloon will scar and may no longer spread the electrical currents that cause atrial fibrillation.
Patients undergoing cyroballoon ablation usually stay in the hospital for a night or two, depending on their conditions. Recovery from cryoballoon ablation is usually fairly easy and patients typically experience relief from atrial fib symptoms quite quickly following the procedure.