Freezing Hearts Back Into Rhythm Video

This health video focuses on how to get a heart's rhythm back through freezing.
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Jennifer Matthews: Today, a challenging hike gets Corrine Warcholik's heart going, but it's something she couldn't do a year ago. Corrine Warcholik: I could tell I wasn't getting enough oxygen or energy. Jennifer Matthews: Corrine has atrial fibrillation -- a condition where an electrical disturbance causes rapid and irregular heartbeats. The heart's two upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively. Dr. Gregory Feld: Some people may develop shortness of breath, a sense of palpitations in the chest, sometimes even chest pain. And rarely, patients may even faint on the onset of the arrhythmia. Jennifer Matthews: Radio-frequency ablation -- a method that burns the heart tissue -- or medication can restore normal heart rhythm, but they don't always work. Dr. Gregory Feld: Those medications are effective in about 50 or 60 percent of patients, not everybody will be adequately controlled. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Feld used a new freezing technique called cryoablation, to fix Corrine's atrial fibrillation. Dr. Gregory Feld: We actually freeze around the pulmonary veins, which are the source for the premature beats. Jennifer Matthews: Using cold tip catheters, he freezes tissue to minus 90 degrees. Lesions created in the heart interrupt the electrical conductivity that causes the atrial fibrillation. Dr. Gregory Feld: Studies have suggested we can get between 80-95 percent cure rate of the atrial fibrillation. Jennifer Matthews: And unlike heating techniques, cyroablation isn't painful. It worked for Corrine. Corrine Warcholik: It was like an instant cure. Jennifer Matthews: Now, Corrine's heart is back in step for good. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.

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