TIANJIN, China, May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently, TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital (hereinafter referred to as "TEDA") successfully performed the cryoballoon ablation surgery of atrial fibrillation (AF) on two AF patients. It is reported that extremely few hospitals in China can make such operation and it is also the first time in Tianjin.
The 61-year-old Granny Zhang, a paroxysmal AF patient who lives in the Tanggu district of Tianjin, has received the surgery. Although taking medicine regularly, she was still suffering from continuous palpitation, fluttering and dyspnoea in recent two years with even shorter intervals. The other one, a 63-year-old patient from Wuhai City of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with similar symptoms with Granny Zhang, also came to TEDA for treatment due to frequent AF.
The two surgeries, during which the cryoballoon was used to ablate the 4 pulmonary veins of the patients for 3~5 minutes in turn with the lowest ablation temperature below -40 ℃, were carried out by the cardiology expert team of TEDA with complete success.
According to Zhang Feng, the senior doctor in Cardiology dept., AF is the most common arrhythmia among middle-aged and elder people. In China, there are 6-8 milion AF patients, for whom the risk of stroke is 2~7 times higher than the non-AF group. This disease will seriously affect the quality of life of the patients and will lead to serious complications such as stroke and organ embolism, or even disability and death. At present, the main treatment methods for AF are drug therapy and radiofrequency catheter ablation. While the curing rate of the former is only 40%~50%, the latter can reach around 70%.
Mr. Zhang explained how AF is caused: as the normal electrical signals of the heart is disrupted by the electrical signals from the 4 pulmonary veins connected to the left atrium, the rhythm of the heart beat will become abnormal and disordered, thus making the patients palpitate. Presently, the comparatively thorough method of AF treatment is to cut off the electrical signals from the pulmonary veins. The traditional way is to block the electric signals transmission from the pulmonary vein through partial-area heating by radiofrequency energy point by point, which is time-consuming and complicated. And the patients are very painful during the operation. But the cryoballoon AF ablation is a brand-new technology. Its working principle is to lower the temperature of the ablation spot by taking away the heat through liquid nitrogen gasification, so as to deeply freeze and necrotize the tissue and cut off the electrical signals disturbing the normal heart beat. While the traditional radiofrequency ablation needs to deal with hundreds of spots, by using cryoballoon, only several cryoablations will be sufficient to cut off the electric signals of the 4 pulmonary veins. Compared with the conventional method, cryoballoon AF ablation is not only easier for doctors to operate, but can also shorten the surgery time with higher success rate. Moreover, it can reduce the serious complications such as thrombosis and significantly relieve the pain of patients during surgery.
It is recorded that about 80,000 cases of cryoballoon ablation surgery of AF have been performed so far in the world and more and more cardiac electrophysiology doctors take the cryoballoon as the first choice for the AF ablation. TEDA will also put this surgery method into wider application to effectively ease the pains of the AF patients.