East Texas hospitals first to use new technology to treat irregular heartbeat

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 7:05pm

The Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants, working with East Texas Medical Center, are first in the entire nation to use a new procedure that treats irregular heart rhythm. The process is called the "Arctic Front Advance System", or "Cold Ablation". This cures the most common form of heart disorders, known as Atrial Fibrillation, or "A Fib".

KETK spoke with the President of Tyler CVC, Tad Tolleson, who said, "The big concern with A Fib is that it increases the patients risk of stroke 7 to 8 fold, over what it would be for anyone else their age". The new process uses a catheter to insert the Cold Ablation into the vein, and the coolant stops any abnormal electrical waves between the top and bottom of the heart. Prior to this treatment, this was done with extreme heat.

This new procedure poses many benefits, Tolleson said, "It reduces the time of the procedure down to an hour to an hour and a half, from four to five hours. For patients this is obviously a lot better. It's a minimally invasive technique, so it's done through an incision in the groin about 2 millimeters in diameter". This is a one time procedure, and reduces the likelihood of A Fib coming back.

Fortunately for East Texas, Tolleson mentions, "The technology is fairly novel. The technology has been proven in studies to be very effective, and Dr. Torres at this point, is the only person in East Texas who performs this type of procedure".  Across the world, this treatment has been used to cure more 50,000 patients.

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