In this health video learn how a new procedure is using extreme cold to force arrhythmic hearts back into rhythm.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Mathews: This is the sound of a healthy heart. This is what Peter Nyquist felt inside his chest for the past decade. Peter Nyquist: Instead of feeling a constant boom, boom, boom in your chest, it would be boom boom, boom. Everything was out of beat. Jennifer Mathews: Even with a lot of coffee, his cardiac arrhythmia left him extremely tired. Peter Nyquist: Walking up a flight of stairs you'd be huffin' and puffin' and you couldn't do anything. It was just a really uncomfortable feeling in the chest. Jennifer Mathews: Arrhythmias can cause stroke or heart attacks. But before something serious happened to Peter, his heart was frozen back into rhythm by a process called cryoablation. Dr. Walter Kerwin: It's a little bit more accurate and it destroys tissue in a different fashion which we think is probably safer. Jennifer Mathews: A long, thin tube is inserted through a leg vein and threaded to the heart. Catheter cryoablation uses intense cold, minus 90 degrees Celsius, to destroy the heart tissue that is causing the irregular rhythm. Dr. Walter Kerwin: Our goal is to identify where the origin of the abnormal rhythm is coming from and to specifically target that focus for destruction. Jennifer Mathews: Before cryoablation, radio frequency ablation heated up the tissue. It was faster, but freezing arrhythmias gives the doctor more control and there is less pain after surgery. Peter Nyquist: My life, our lives have completely changed from it. Jennifer Mathews: Now, that his heart is fixed, Peter can concentrate on fixing other things. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.
Copyright © 2005 - 2014 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved for Healthline.