Cryoablation is a new procedure that is a potentially faster, safer and more effective alternative to traditional treatments for cardiac arrhythmias.

Cryoablation treats and cures cardiac arrhythmias by electrically isolating lesions using cold energy – which is considered a more efficient and effective procedure than the traditional method of using heat. During the cryoablation procedure, doctors insert a catheter (via the groin) into the veins that lead to the left upper chamber of the heart. A balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated, touching the tissue around the vein. A coolant is released into the balloon to freeze and ablate the tissue, creating a ring around each vein.

We often use cryoablation during a modified Maze procedure, which is a minimally invasive procedure to correct an irregular heart rhythm by blocking the abnormal electrical impulses that are causing the problem.

Inova Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the highest volume facilities in the nation performing the cryoablation procedure. We also were a partner in the clinical research (approved by the FDA in late 2010) to ensure its efficacy.

The cryoablation procedure:

  • Is quicker
  • Leaves a smaller incision
  • Results in less exposure to X-rays

This is considered a more efficient and safer procedure than the current method.