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World-class heart care: PMC offers new treatment for atrial fibrillationWorld-class heart care: PMC offers new treatment for atrial fibrillation
By: Jessica Howard - jessica.howard@pikevillehospital.org, For The Medical Leader
Published: 07/26/2013

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Medical Leader | SUBMITTED PHOTO
VALUABLE INFORMATION: Pikeville Medical Center Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist Dr. Michael Antimisiaris educates a patient about the signs of Paroxysmal Afib, which occurs as a result of rapid, irregular rhythm of the heart.

Medical Leader | Medtronic
ADVANCED HEART CARE: Pikeville Medical Center offers Medtronic’s Arctic Front Advance Cardiac Cryoballoon system for the treatment of paroxysmal Afib.

Understanding Afib

Found in nearly 3 million Americans, Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) is one of the most common and undertreated heart rhythm disorders in the U.S.

Some patients with Afib have described it as a feeling in their chest that seems like “thunder rumbling, fish flopping or drums pounding.”

Other symptoms of Afib may include:

•Decreased blood pressure




•Shortness of breath

•Chest pain

Although, some people with Afib may have no symptoms, and may only discover the problem during a physical examination.

This arrhythmia problem is not considered to be life threatening, but when left untreated Afib can increase one’s stroke risk by 500 percent. Not only does it increase the likelihood of a stroke, it can also increase the size and chance of experiencing harmful side effects of stroke.

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville Medical Center’s Dr. Michael Antimisiaris, Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist, is providing a new treatment for patients with Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) using Medtronic’s Arctic Front Advance Cardiac Cryoballoon System. 

Afib is a form of abnormal heart rhythm. Paroxysmal Afib is a type of Afib in which the irregular heartbeat starts and stops suddenly. It is most common in the younger population and may last for minutes, hours or days.

Cryoablation therapy can best treat patients with Paroxysmal Afib. During the procedure, which typically lasts less than two hours, a catheter containing a balloon is inserted into veins located in the groin and threaded to the left upper chamber of the heart and the pulmonary veins containing abnormal muscle tissue. The balloon is then inflated and a liquid refrigerant is used to freeze the abnormal tissue in an effort to stop the spread of the electrical currents causing Afib.

To date, PMC is the second leading hospital in Kentucky to offer this therapy.

 “The treatment for atrial fibrillation is three fold,” said Dr. Antimisiaris. “First, you must treat the patient’s increased risk for stroke; second, the risk of developing serious heart muscle problems; and third, the patient’s overall symptoms.”

With a 90 percent success rate in patients with Paroxysmal Afib, cryoablation therapy safely treats each of these issues.

Dr. Antimisiaris said, “This technology is highly effective and much safer than what was previously offered to patients with paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation.”

He praised PMC’s leadership team for their dedication to offering quality cardiac care to the region.

“The amazing support shown by our administration has allowed Pikeville Medical Center to offer patients a dedicated electrophysiology (EP) lab and the standard of excellence in equipment that anyone could want anywhere,” said Dr. Antimisiaris.

For more information on cryoablation therapy or other services offered by Pikeville Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Institute, call 606-218-6279.




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