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Published on May 01, 2015

Balloon Cryoablation Treats Irregular Heartbeat

Thanks to the expertise of Bryan Heart, Dave’s heart is back on beat

When Dave Hart was diagnosed and treated for atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, he had know idea how much the condition had been holding him back and how much better he would feel after treatment.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular beating of the heart caused by irregular electrical currents in the heart. It can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure.

Symptoms of AFib, an irregular heartbeat, include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

Dave describes his symptoms as ‘an odd feeling’. “It’s not like I was in pain,” he says, “but it was exhausting and a constant reminder that something wasn’t right. It affected my energy level, emotions and psyche.”

Advanced technology, close to home treats atrial fibrillation

Bryan Heart Mary Lanning Cardiology’s Pradipta Chaudhuri, MD diagnosed Dave’s condition. Dave then met with Bryan Heart electrocardiolgist Andrew Merliss, MD, in Lincoln who suggested a relatively new procedure, balloon cryoablation. “My wife Dee and I immediately felt comfortable with Dr. Merliss and confident in his recommendation.”

Bryan Heart’s program is so advanced that few patients need to leave this area for appropriate treatments. “We’re at the forefront and have the expertise and equipment to offer the most advanced procedures right here,” says Dr. Merliss.

Balloon cryoablation is:

  • A minimally invasive procedure
  • Uses ultrasound and 3-D imaging to guide and deliver liquid nitrogen to freeze tissue and prevent atrial fibrillation
  • Able to immediately end the electrical activity in the heart that causes AFib; through advanced technology in the procedure room, the team can see immediately when this occurs

Treatment success leads to epic journey

“'I think we hit a home run!’ Dr. Merliss told us when we returned for Dave’s follow-up appointment,” Dee remembers.

“Having balloon cryoablation to treat my atrial fibrillation was a great decision,” Dave says. “I immediately felt better after the procedure and still feel great.”

Dave was so excited about his improved health he set off on an epic solo drive from rural Nebraska to travel the highest road in the continental U.S. only three weeks after his treatment.


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