(February 15, 2011) - Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC)
in Savannah is the first and only facility in southeast Georgia to
offer a new, cutting-edge treatment for heart rhythm disorders. The
procedure is called the Arctic Front™ Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter
System. It was developed by Medtronic, Inc., and was just approved
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December.
Cardiologist Mark Jenkins, M.D., performed the first Arctic
Front procedure at MUMC in January. He was one of the first
physicians in the U.S. to be trained in the technology.
The Arctic Front system is used to treat of paroxysmal atrial
fibrillation (PAF), a serious heart rhythm disorder that affects
millions of Americans. People with PAF experience episodes of
irregular heartbeats that stop and start on their own. Left
untreated, it greatly increases the risk of stroke and heart
disease. In the past, doctors used radiofrequency, or heat, to
destroy faulty electrical circuits in the heart and correct the
condition. The Arctic Front takes the opposite approach and
delivers a coolant to the heart to freeze abnormal tissue in the
"The value of the new cryoablation technology over existing
methods is that it enables us to safely and effectively isolate the
pulmonary veins via a simple, efficient approach," said Jenkins,
M.D. "The new procedure is also faster and seems to provide faster
recovery for patients."
During clinical trials, patients who received Arctic Front
treatment had a significant reduction in symptoms, a decrease in
the need for drug therapy, and substantial improvements in both
physical and mental quality-of-life factors.
Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare
organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and
southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital,
a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary
and specialty care physician networks; a major medical
education program; business and
industry services; and NurseOne,
a 24-hour call center. You can follow us at facebook.com/memorialhealth, twitter.com/mymemorial, and youtube.com/memorialhealth.