Battle of fire and ice to treat the most common heart arrhythmia

University Health Shreveport has become the first hospital in northwest Louisiana to use a procedure that uses cold instead of heat to treat atrial fibrillation, better known as AFib. AFib is an irregular heartbeat, which impacts a person’s quality of life. It can lead to blood clots, strokes even heart failure.

LSU Health Shreveport Electrophysiologist Dr. Paari Dominic used the newly approved Arctic Front Advance Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter from Medtronic. The catheter is inserted into a patient’s veins. Once it reaches the heart, a balloon is deployed from the tip and inflated. The balloon is pressed up against the vein causing the irregular heartbeat. The balloon freezes, causing scaring around the vein, which stops the irregular heartbeat.

Doctors have used heat to scar an area around the veins in the heart that are causing the irregular heartbeat. This intricate procedure could take upwards of two and half hours to complete. While it treats the AFib, the patient often deals with chest pains and discomfort the next day. The cryoablation process takes less than an hour, without the side effects.

Cryoablation is not the best option for every patient who suffers from AFib, but doctors can make that determination.

To learn more about cryoablation or make an appointment please call (318) 626-0050. 

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