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Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

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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


Laser Balloon Catheter

Technology & Innovations

Laser Balloon Catheter

The variable size balloon of the Laser catheter (CardioFocus, Inc., Marlborough, MA) can be positioned in a vein opening to encircle the vein.

Laser Balloon Catheter Diagram

Laser Balloon Catheter camera image - LSPV is the Left Superior Pulmonary Vein

Two overlapping laser energy ablations can usually completely isolate the vein without any gaps. The catheter features direct visualization (endoscopic). The doctor sees directly through the catheter the area he/she is ablating.

Though the Laser Balloon Catheter is probably years away from FDA approval, it may have more potential than the CryoBalloon catheter. The variable size of the Laser Balloon makes it easier to manipulate and might enable it to fit better into the different sizes of pulmonary vein openings. Laser energy might produce more lasting lesions than Cryo. And direct visualization would certainly be a help to doctors doing an ablation and would reduce the amount of radiation patients and medical staff are exposed to.This is an example of what the doctor sees. “LSPV” is the Left Superior Pulmonary Vein, “LIPV” is the Left Inferior Pulmonary Vein. (posted 2011)

Schmidt, B. et al. Feasibility of Circumferential Pulmonary Vein Isolation Using a Novel Endoscopic Ablation System. Circ Arrhythm Elcetrophysiol published online Jul 24 2010. Last accessed Jan 11, 2013. http://www.cardiofocus.com/pdf/Schmidt_CircEP_Laser.pdf DOI: 10.1161/CIRCEP.110.954149

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Last updated: Sunday, February 15, 2015

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