ATRIAL FIBRILLATION

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a disorder of the heart characterized by
rapid and chaotic beating of the atria and is the most prevalent
cardiac arrhythmia, affecting four million patients in the Western
World.  AF is one of the leading causes of stroke and short-term
hospitalizations with 400,000 new cases annually.  Despite its
prevalence, there are no current, practical clinical options to
effectively and safely treat AF. Catheter ablation to resolve AF’s
underlying cause, aberrant electrical signals originating on the left
side of the heart near or within the pulmonary veins, has been
restricted by safety concerns. As a result, the standard treatments for
AF are limited to various costly drug regimens that offer only a
palliative (non-curative) approach.

Every year, an estimated 375,000 patients worldwide are candidates for
a combined arrhythmia ablation with CABG and/or MV procedure. Atrial
fibrillation has now become the most common complication of
cardiovascular surgery. SurgiFrost™ is a malleable, single-use
cryosurgical probe developed to treat cardiac arrhythmias during
open-heart surgery. The probe will ablate cardiac tissue while a
patient is undergoing a primary cardiac surgical procedure, such as
coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or mitral valve (MV) replacement
and/or repair.

As a practical nurse at an assisted living facility, Carol Weigand sees
people every day with conditions that restrict their lives. With the
prospect of having to take retirement disability at 56, this atrial
fibrillation patient came to know personally the kind of hardships her
clients bear. Hospitalized two times in the last year alone, she jumped
at the chance to hear how Dr. Irwin could help her. “I actually feel
better now than before I was diagnosed. I used to feel fatigued even
going to the grocery store,” she says following her ablation that was
performed using Arctic Circler. “I look forward to gaining more stamina
each day.”

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