Controlling the heart’s current.
Electrophysiology – the study of the heart’s electrical system – is a crucial specialty for patients with abnormal heart rhythm at top-quality hospitals like ours. In recent years, advancements have provided Electrophysiologists with tools to combat a variety of cardiac arrhythmias.
Peter. Friedman, MD, PhD, FHRS, is skilled in two different methods of ablation treatments for arrhythmias: Radio Frequency (RF), or burning, and Cryoablation, or freezing. Which treatment is used depends on where the current is misfiring in the heart and from what type of arrhythmia the patient is suffering.
With Cryoablation, liquid nitrogen at the temperature of -79 degrees Celsius is administered through a tiny tip on the end of the catheter. With RF ablation, the tip of the catheter is heated to about 60 degrees Celsius and the misfiring cells are burned, rendering them inactive.
Dr. Friedman developed the Cryoablation technique, along with a colleague, Paul Wing, MD, while both were at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Cryoablation in EP came into common practice in the early 2000’s.
In many patients, cardiac arrhythmias stem from the lower chambers of the heart and can be life-threatening. For such patients, implantation of a cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, protects the patients from sudden cardiac death. ICD therapy is one of the major advances in cardiology in the past 50 years, and has saved tens of thousands of lives. Our dedicated team at Cape Cod Hospital is experienced and skilled in this life-saving treatment.
Dr. Friedman is trained in a new method of treating atrial fibrillation known as Balloon Cryoablation for Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common form of heart arrhythmia. Balloon Cryoablation uses a freezing technique to disable the cells of the heart that create the irregular heartbeat. Balloon Cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure.
Cape Cod Hospital Electrophysiologist Charles Haffajee, MD, knows these latest treatments are essential to patients on Cape Cod, where more people suffer from heart failure than anywhere else in the state. He believes cardiac resynchronization devices can be much more effective at treating heart failure than many medications.