Scripps and Kaiser Permanente physicians among first in U.S. to give irregular heart rhythms the deep freeze


Physicians from Scripps Health and Kaiser Permanente have teamed up to be the first in San Diego to use a cryoablation system to treat a trial fibrillation, a serious heart rhythm disorder that affects millions of Americans.

Unlike traditional ablation treatments that use radiofrequency, or heat, to destroy faulty electrical circuits in the heart, this newly FDA-approved freezing technology allows the catheter to adhere to the tissue during ablation, allowing for greater catheter stability.

Dr. Doug Gibson, Scripps Clinic, and Dr. Brant Liu, Kaiser Permanente, recently led the effort that resulted in the first successful procedure in San Diego at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla using Medtronic’s Arctic Front Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter System. Scripps is the exclusive provider of cardiac surgery, interventional cardiology and electrophysiology to the more than 515,000 Kaiser Permanente members across San Diego County.

“We have found that using cold, rather than heat, may minimize the risk of damaging healthy heart tissue and other structures surrounding the heart,” said Dr. Gibson. “The potential advantages of cryoablation are fewer complications, less radiation exposure, and less discomfort for the patient.”

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