Banner Boswell now offers cardiac cryoablation as a treatment option for its patients.
With cardiac cryoablation, tissue around the heart and its pathways that may be contributing to the atrial fibrillation, or irregular heart rhythm, is frozen. Freezing the tissue essentially destroys its ability to send abnormal electrical impulses to the heart.
This procedure is often performed using a catheter, which is a thin tube inserted into a vein in the leg and then directed through the vein to the heart. The catheter tip is cooled to sub-zero temperatures using a refrigerant such as liquid nitrous oxide. When the refrigerant is added to the catheter tip, it absorbs heat from surrounding tissue and then delivers cold energy to the problematic tissue near the heart.
Cardiac ablation procedures such as cryoablation are not usually the first approach for patients suffering from cardiac arrhythmias, but they are highly effective for patients who do not respond to other treatment options.
Some of the benefits of using this method include:
- The treatment is effective in 70 percent of patients in first treatment; and there is an option to repeat the procedure if it is not effective the first time.
- Reduces risk of stroke.
- Patients can return to normal activity in 60-90 days, as opposed to more invasive procedures that can cause longer recovery times.
This is an outpatient procedure, though some patients may require an overnight stay for observation. The procedure takes about two hours – less than half the time than some other treatment options.