"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."
Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology,
Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France
"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."
Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ
"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."
Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"
"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."
Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"
Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org
"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."
Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient
"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."
Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013
2017 AF Symposium
Live Case: Ablation using CardioFocus Laser Balloon
Video clip: :16 sec view of pulmonary view opening during ablation with HeartLight System; from ‘Ablate What You See & See What You Ablate’.
Video streaming from Na Homolce Hospital in Prague, The Czech Republic. Drs. Peter Neuzil, Jan Petru and Jan Skoda, in their second live case, did an ablation using the CardioFocus HeartLight Endoscopic Visually Guided Laser Balloon (FDA approved April 4, 2016).
The doctors showed how they could directly see the Pulmonary Vein opening they were ablating (unlike RF and CryoBalloon systems).
The center of the catheter has an endoscopic (looking inside) camera. (To me, this is a major advantage and ground-breaking improvement for patients.) (Watch :13 video clip)
Laser Energy For Ablation
CardioFocus HeartLight Laser Balloon
In the center of the catheter is an optical fiber which produces an arc of laser (near infrared) energy. When they applied this laser energy, it looked like a green flashing light that circled the PV.
The doctors said that watching this circulating green arc allowed them to visually see if they were making complete circular lesions of the PV.
They later used a regular Lasso catheter to check for ablation integrity.
Variable Diameter Compliant Balloon
The doctors also showed how the CardioFocus HeartLight system uses a variable diameter compliant balloon which can be sized to fit into a wide range of PV openings.
One preliminary research article suggested that the Laser Balloon system clinical outcomes were an improvement over CryoBalloon ablation.
The CardioFocus HeartLight Laser Balloon catheter seems like a major advance in the treatment of A-Fib, To be able to look directly at the PV opening instead of using fluoroscopy, etc. should make an EP’s ablation task much easier and potentially more effective. And having a variable diameter compliant balloon is an added plus.
But when I talked with the CardioFocus rep at the AF Symposium exhibit hall, he said they were in the process of rolling out the Laser Balloon system to various centers. It may be a short while till the system is up and operational nationwide in the U.S. (It’s already in use in Europe.) We will try to list which centers use the Laser Balloon system.
If real world experience proves its effectiveness, the CardioFocus HeartLight Laser Balloon system may eventually make CryoBalloon ablation a secondary player.
Dukkipati, S.R. et al. Pulmonary Vein Isolation Using the Visually Guided Laser Balloon, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol. 66, No. 12, 2015. http://www.cardiofocus.com/pdf/150922%20JACC-Dukkipati-HeartLight%20Pivotal%20Study.pdf
Bordignon, S. et al. Comparison of balloon catheter ablation techniques for pulmonary vein isolation: the laser versus cryo study. J. Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, 2013;24(9):987-94.
Disclaimer: the authors of this Web site are not medical doctors and are not affiliated with any medical school or organization. The information on this site is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in this service is intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment.