RF vs. cryoablation

I hadn't researched the differences in these 2 procedures, and found this interesting. My doc had suggested RF ablation, which I had done one month ago, but cryoablation sure has positive remarks/benefits, too.



11 Replies

  • The whole point is that whilst cryo is generally faster and more thorough in the areas it can access i e the four pulmonary veins it can not deal with other areas in the atrium which may be transmitting rogue impulses. So cryo to start and then if AF returns then RF to tidy up seems to be the norm.

  • Having had three unsuccessful ablations I'm surprised that the article states 'Catheter ablation has more than a 90 percent success rate', as I think this is perhaps a bit misleading. When I went for my first consultation in 2013 I was told that I should hope for at least a 60-70% success rate, as that was the norm. I can't think that things have improved that much in three years, but maybe someone else will put me right on this.

  • MyEP told me 70percent success rate

  • My EP said 70% also. I wondered if the 90% success rate might be for a SVT ablation, but it didn't state that...

  • I think 70% on first attempt is about right but I agree that 90% may be high even after multiple ablations. I would think 80% more realistic remembering what I was told ten years ago.

    Generally speaking results have improved thanks to better training, more experience and improved technology but not that much.

  • Estimating success is very individual, variability depending upon your type and stage of AF and the experience and expertise of the EP and their team.

    I was told in 2013 - 95% estimate of elimination after 1st ablation, 98% after 2nd. Took second one to work.

    Everyone will get a different forecast of success rate but don't forget that with all statistics it all depends on data you include, leave out and manipulate.

    I trust people, not statistics as statistics from studies are what my doctor calls 'herd probabilities' and no indicator of what may or may not be suitable for you.

  • I agree about the data, statistics can be alway be manipulated to suit a particular study, but am very interested to know which hospital you had your ablations done? Really pleased to hear that the second one worked for you.

  • I wish I had done my own research before letting my son who is 11 have an ablation. He had only started suffering with SVT 3 months previously and although frightening for him (v active boy) were lasting up to 2-3 mins at a time.

    The doctor immediately recommended RF ablation saying it was 95% successful. So we thought this to be a no brainer and he was booked in. 3 months after the procedure and my son has suffered 2 episodes lasting 30 mins each. To say I am somewhat disappointed is an understatement. Very reluctant to go down the ablation path again so am living one day at a time and currently monitoring the situation. All I can advise is do your own research and don't rush into what seems like a quick fix as I am sure there are those who have had one ablation and are now svt free but I have know of a lot more than 5% who have had to have 2 or 3 more procedures.

  • Agree with Bob - had cryo last year with follow up RF this year. The jury is still out as to success - my EP is confident that he's treated all he can find successfully so any further AF may be from another source which is difficult to locate - a case of only time will tell.

  • I had a hybrid ablation with Prof Schilling in 2010 - RF and cryo combined in the same ablation which has worked very well.

  • It is probably a case of "six of one, half a dozen of another", as both methods accomplish the exact same thing.

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