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SMC completes Korea’s 1st cryoballoon ablation
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.06.04 14:08
  • Updated 2018.06.04 17:56
  • comments 0

A medical team from Samsung Medical Center has completed the country’s first cryoballoon ablation on a patient with atrial fibrillation (AF), the hospital said Monday.

The team led by Professor Park Kyung-min from Samsung Medical Center, Department of Cardiology, finished the operation on the patient on May 30, and the patient is now recovering well and stable, according to SMC.

A team led by Professor Park Kyung-min from Samsung Medical Center completed the country’s first cryoballoon ablation on an atrial fibrillation patient on May 30.

Cryoballoon ablation is a procedure that involves inserting a thin tube into the heart and then finding the problem area that causes atrial fibrillation. Surgeons then freeze the area at -75 degrees Celsius and remove it.

The main advantage of the surgery is that the balloon is inflated to fit the shape of the pulmonary vein inlet in the left atrium that causes AF, resulting in complete treatment.

Cryoballoon ablation is considered an improvement over radiofrequency catheter ablation, the existing treatment method, which requires locating and burning the areas that cause atrial fibrillation one by one, according to SMC.

Reports have shown that the frozen balloon method holds a lower reoperation rate and re-hospitalization rate, becoming recognized as a complementary and alternative treatment in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.

“Cryoballoon ablation opens up an opportunity for safe and effective new treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation,” Professor Park said. “Further studies will focus on improving patient safety and improving outcomes.”

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and rapid heart rate that is characterized by the irregular trembling of about 300 to 600 times per minute. The condition puts people at four or five times higher risk for stroke. About 1 percent of the population in Korea is estimated to have atrial fibrillation.


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