Treatment for Afib and Prevent Blood Clots
Technologies to Treat Afib and Prevent Blood Clots
The cryoballoon uses “cryo” (cold) energy to achieve electrical isolation of the pulmonary veins for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. A recent randomized trial demonstrated the safety and success of the cryoballoon for use in patients with intermitted (paroxysmal) atrial fibrillation who are also at increased risk of developing strokes. UI Health electrophysiologists are experts in the use of the cryoballoon technology and routinely train other physicians on its use.
The laser balloon uses laser energy for the isolation of pulmonary veins, which are a common source for the development of electrical irregularities in the upper chambers of the heart that lead to AFib. The laser balloon is the only technology that allows direct visualization of the inner wall of the heart through use of a tiny endoscope (camera). Approved for use in the United States in 2016, UI Health is the first and only medical center in Illinois to offer this technology, which has also been proven to be effective in clinical trials. Dr. Wissner has many years of experience using this technology in the United States and Europe where this pioneering technology was first successfully used in patients and has been available since 2009.
Advanced 3-dimensional Mapping Systems
One of the challenges for treating AFib is finding the source of the electrical irregularities, which cause AFib. The Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology at UI Health uses cutting-edge technology including the latest 3-dimensional mapping systems to improve patient safety, reduce fluoroscopy exposure and improve patient outcome during electrophysiology procedures. Advanced 3-dimensional mapping systems resemble GPS navigation systems, creating an accurate representation of cardiac chambers using special mapping catheters. It enables heart rhythm specialists to precisely locate areas of electrical disturbances and irregularities in order to eliminate them. Electrophysiologists at UI Health utilize the latest mapping systems from Biosense Webster (Carto 3), Boston Scientific (Rhythmia) and Abbott, formerly St. Jude Medical during electrophysiology procedures.
The Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Occluder Device
The Watchman occluder device by Boston Scientific was developed to close the left atrial appendage, which is a common place for clot formation within the heart in patients with atrial fibrillation. The Watchman is an option for patients with atrial fibrillation who are unable to tolerate long-term anticoagulation for prevention of stroke because of bleeding risks.