Cryotherapy for Arrhythmias

Cryotherapy is a procedure that can be used to treat arrhythmias in the heart. This procedure uses a special catheter that uses very cold temperatures to destroy small lines of muscle in the heart and block the abnormal signals that cause arrhythmias.

An arrhythmia is a heartbeat that’s too fast, too slow or irregular (uneven). Arrhythmias are caused by problems with your heart’s electrical system. The electrical signals may fire too fast or too slowly, or in an uneven (irregular) way. Abnormal electrical signals can originate in different areas of the heart (such as the atria or ventricles) causing arrhythmias.

To begin an electrical mapping procedure, a thin tube called a catheter sheath is inserted into a small incision in the arm or upper thigh. This process is usually visualized using x-rays and a special dye that helps reveal the arteries (called angiography). This catheter is carefully guided through the blood vessels until it is inside the heart. A smaller electrically sensitive catheter is then inserted inside the sheath and into the heart. This catheter can be use to sense electrical activity and map it on a 3D model of the hearts chambers. This is used to determine the source of the arrhythmia. A cryotherapy catheter is then entered into the heart. It is used to destroy small lines of muscle tissue using very cold temperatures. These lines will form scars that will block abnormal electrical signals. The catheters are are removed from the heart following the procedure.

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