PV Ablation/Cryoblation/Atrial flutter

I'm writing in the hope that someone can clarify a few things for me that I have read about on the forum. I have had one PV ablation and things are definitely better but the EP says he understands what I am feeling now and hopes he can fix it with one more go. So I have a date for later this month - fingers crossed.

However I spoke to a friend whose husband had a Cryoblation which cured his AF completely. I know that in this game we never say never but she believes that it has gone. I now read on the forum about ablation for atrial flutter. I've never been sure what atrial flutter is exactly. What I feel now since the first ablation is a sort of sensation of starting AF but it doesn't often go into full blown AF. So, is that flutter? I don't know. So if anyone can clarify the difference between PV ablation and cryoblation and why choose one over the other, and explain what is atrial flutter I would be very grateful.

2 Replies

  • Diana I have written several times recently about this subject but here goes again.

    Cryo-ablation uses a freezing balloon to make burn scars inside the entrances to the four pulmonary veins. In many cases this stops the rogue impulses if that is the only place they are coming from. So if a person has very simple AF then cryo-ablation which has the advantage to being faster and less stressful for the patient can have good results.

    If on the other hand there are other areas of the heart from which the signals are coming then cryo can not deal with these and RF ablation then becomes a necessity. People often start with cryo and then have to have a top up with RF so there is really no best solution.

    Flutter usually starts in the right atrium and can produce a rapid heart beat which can lead to AF in the left atrium. Because the catheter has to pass through the right atrium to get to the left I think most EPs will look for flutter on the way out and ablate if necessary.

    I hope that helps but do read the ablation booklet on AF Association main website.


  • Thank you Bob. That really makes it much clearer and sorry I've missed your previous postings. I had a feeling that cryo-ablation was to do with freezing rather than cauterising but wasn't sure how or why. I will also have a look for the ablation booklet on the AFA website.


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