SwedishAmerican First in Rockford to Treat Common Heart Rhythm Disorders

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Midwest Heart Specialists at SwedishAmerican Electrophysiologist Dr. Justin Mao is the first in Rockford to treat patients who suffer from a common form of atrial fibrillation with new, innovative technology.
The Arctic Front Advance™ Cardiac Cryoballoon System works by freezing the heart tissue around the pulmonary veins to help stop abnormal electrical activity that causes an irregular heartbeat. Currently approved in both the United States and Europe, the system has become a successful treatment option for patients who do not respond to therapy with antiarrhythmic drugs, such as beta blockers.

Studies show that 73 percent of patients using Medtronic’s cryoballoon achieved freedom from atrial fibrillation at one year, a clinically significant increase in overall treatment success compared to drug therapy. Arctic Front Advance, the second-generation cryoballoon, builds upon the proven safety and effectiveness of the original technology, while providing a more efficient approach to treating this common, often debilitating condition.

Treatment with Arctic Front Advance involves a minimally invasive procedure that isolates the pulmonary veins using coolant rather than heat. Delivered through a catheter, the novel technology is associated with faster procedure times than other ablation techniques currently on the market. Additionally, the EvenCool™ Cryo Technology included in the new cryoballoon optimizes the delivery of the coolant and improves physicians’ ability to treat a wide range of patient anatomies.
“Since its FDA approval in December 2010, I have been among the first to utilize this innovative technology in Illinois,” says Dr. Mao. “It allows us to perform this complex procedure in a shorter time with potentially less complications when compared to the more traditional method of radio frequency ablation.”

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common and undertreated heart rhythm disorders in the world. Approximately 3 million Americans are estimated to have the disease. Half of all diagnosed patients fail drug therapy, and if left untreated, patients have up to a five times higher risk of stroke and an increased chance of developing heart failure. Additionally, since atrial fibrillation is often age-related, as the U.S. population continues to grow older, the need for more effective treatment options is escalating.

To date, the Arctic Front and Arctic Front Advance systems have been used to successfully treat more than 35,000 patients in more than 400 medical centers in 25 countries.

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