Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is a procedure that can cure many types of arrhythmias such as AF. A low voltage, high frequency electrical energy, RF energy is used in many applications including electrocautery. Using special catheters to deliver the energy to specific locations within the heart, the electrophysiologist is able to provide curative interventions for AF.
Cryotherapy Ablation (Cryo)
Cryotherapy ablation provides is a similar procedure to radiofrequency ablation (RF) except in the type of energy used for treatment. Instead of using RF (heat) energy, cryotherapy uses extremely cold temperature applied through specialized catheters to alter the cardiac cells' capacity to conduct electrical impulses. The latest technology for the treatment of paroxysmal AF, the cryoballoon, is an efficient approach in the treatment of AF and is associated with successful ablation and low complication rates. BHVH electrophysiology department was the leading research site in the Unites States for the cryoballoon and performed the first procedure in the North Texas.
Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Therapy
The Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) is the main source of blood clots in patients suffering from AF (Reddy, et al., 2011). LAA occlusion is supported by research to significantly reduce a patient's risk of having a stroke. Closure methods include surgical and catheter based approaches. BHVH is one of the research sites in United States currently enrolling patients in a trial that is designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of a catheter based LAA closure device deployed within the heart.
Surgical Maze Procedure
This procedure is performed in the operating room and requires one or more incisions. During this procedure, the surgeon will apply energy to the outer surface of the heart and pulmonary veins in an effort to eliminate the conduction pathways of AF. Some patients may be candidates for a minimally-invasive approach while others may have other heart disease that will necessitate surgical treatment.
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