One method for treating atrial fibrillation (AF) is cryoablation using the Arctic FrontTM family of cryoballoons. As the name indicates, the cryoballoon catheters deliver a refrigerant through an inflatable balloon to freeze tissue and disable unwanted electrical circuits that contribute to AF.
The Arctic FrontTM family of cryoballoons are safe, effective and efficient medical devices for treating AF. Because of their balloon shape, the catheters allow physicians to reach and treat pulmonary veins (the site of unwanted electrical currents which trigger your AF) quickly and efficiently. As with any medical procedure, there are benefits and risks with catheter ablation.
Many patients treated with the Arctic FrontTM family of cryoballoons experience a welcome improvement in their quality of life as unpleasant symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and weakness lessen or disappear.
Cryoablation prevents unwanted electrical currents from traveling from the pulmonary veins (large blood vessels that carry blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart) and spreading to the atria (the upper chambers of the heart). This is done with a technique known as pulmonary vein isolation that targets the tissue where the veins and the atria connect and prevents it from spreading unwanted electrical currents. The Arctic FrontTM family of cryoballoon catheters was developed specifically to achieve pulmonary vein isolation.
In the procedure, the physician makes a small cut in the groin area through which to insert the catheter. The physician threads the catheter to the left atrium of the heart. Then he/she creates a puncture in the wall that separates the left and right sides of the heart. The puncture provides access to the left atrium. The cryoballoon catheter is introduced into the left atrium. The physician inflates the balloon and moves it to the opening of the pulmonary vein. The goal is to close off the opening of the pulmonary vein completely, which stops the flow of blood between the atrium and the vein (this is called occlusion). Once occlusion is confirmed, the physician introduces liquid refrigerant into the balloon. The refrigerant evaporates and removes heat from the heart tissue at the opening of the pulmonary vein where the balloon is in contact with it. As a result, the tissue is scarred and may no longer spread the electrical currents that cause atrial fibrillation.
How the Arctic FrontTM Advance Family of Cryoballoons Works - (00:34)
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