Arctic Front Cryoablation: New Tools for a Cure
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a common heart disorder marked by irregular and rapid contractions in the upper chambers of the heart. It affects approximately 3 million Americans with over 400,00 new cases occurring in the U.S. annually.
A heart in Afib beats chaotically and faster than a normal heartbeat. When the heart does not contract in a normal rhythm, blood is not pumped completely out of the chamber and may pool and clot. If left untreated Afib significantly increases a patient’s risk of stroke, heart failure, or death.
How is it treated?
Atrial fibrillation can be treated with medications to attempt to control the heart rate and thin the blood. Many patients may not tolerate the medications due to side effects, or the drug may not adequately control the Afib.
For many patients ablation is another treatment option, as this can potentially cure the Afib. The traditional way of treating Afib with catheter ablation is by “burning” the heart tissue with radio-frequency energy. While this can be very effective, there are risks regarding damage to the structures inside and next to the heart, as well as risks of clotting during the procedure.
Cryoablation – A new and gentler tool for a cure
For more information
A new approach to ablation is cryotechnology which freezes the heart tissue. St. Francis’ new technology, pioneered by Charles Lanzarotti, FACC FACP, a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist, is called the Arctic Front Cyroablation system.
This minimally invasive catheter-based procedure uses a balloon-tipped catheter. Once placed within the heart, the balloon is inflated and filled with nitrous oxide to cool the heart tissue to -80 degrees Celsius. This creates a seal around the vein leading from the heart to the lung that is often the source of rapid heartbeats.
“Cryoablation has been found to be more effective than traditional drug therapy and has fewer risks than conventional radio-frequency ablation,” stated Dr. Lanzarotti. “In the multinational STOP-AF trial this FDA approved procedure showed a treatment success of 69.9% in patients after one year, compared to 7.3% in patients who were receiving drug therapy. It is beneficial for patients who have not achieved success with either a prior ablation or drug therapy.”
With shorter procedure times, fewer risks and side effects, and a much higher success rate than drug therapy, Arctic Front brings the treatment for atrial fibrillation of the future to St. Francis hospital today.
- View a video of Dr. Lanzarotti explaining atrial fibrillation and Arctic Front Cryoablation.
- To receive a packet of information on Arctic Front Cryoablation, call 1-888-9WHEATON, 1-888-994-3286.