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Laser Ablation

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Nancy C Find out more about Nancy C
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  • Laser Ablation

    Has anyone heard of using lasers instead of alcohol? My husband plays golf with a physical therapist who told him they are using lasers on hearts.
    Thanks.
    Nancy

  • #2
    Re: Laser Ablation

    It is not for HCM and likely will not ever be. The way the myectomy is done and the way ablation is done are not procedures that can be done with a laser.

    Have a good day.

    Lisa
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Laser Ablation

      Wow! That got me excited there for a minute. I thought "no cuts" just laser but thanks Lisa for setting me straight......
      Tammy

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Laser Ablation

        Originally posted by Lisa Salberg View Post
        It is not for HCM and likely will not ever be. The way the myectomy is done and the way ablation is done are not procedures that can be done with a laser.

        Have a good day.

        Lisa
        Can you explain with a little more detail why a laser can't be used in a myectomy? I was thinking about this the other day and it seems to me that it is possible. However, because of the problems associated with altering a moving heart it might be necessary to induce hypothermia in order to stop the heart long enough for the procedure.

        Do you know if anyone has considered such a procedure?
        HOCM diagnosed Oct 2008
        ICD Dec 2008.
        Myectomy May 4, 2009
        SCD -- Father 52, Grandfather 48, GGF -- late 30s.
        Please don't tell me you're praying for me.

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        • #5
          Re: Laser Ablation

          I found this information but it is quite dated and I have not heard of it being actually done at any center of excellence.

          http://www.freshpatents.com/Laser-tr...0070021740.php

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6539562
          Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
          Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
          Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
          SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
          [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
          Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
          Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
          Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

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          • #6
            Re: Laser Ablation

            "Using lasers on hearts" is pretty vague. And yes, they are using lasers on hearts for certain procedures, but not for myectomies or septal ablations. Those procedures are dealing with the center of the heart where they are removing tissue and the laser usually just kills tissue. You don't want a big lump of dead heart muscle smack dab in the center of your left ventricle. (I just read the links above and I see that they do seem to be using a laser for a myectomy-type procedure, but I will second Pam on the "it's not really being done yet" and is clearly experimental.)

            As for lasers, they are used in Pulmonary Vein Ablations (there are two kinds of ablation and they are totally different).

            Radio Frequency Ablation/Pulmonary Vein Ablation (diff names, same procedure) is where they use radio waves or a laser to kill certain spots in the pulmonary vein that lead to the atrium (top half of heart). This cures up to 90% or so of atrial fibrillation in NORMAL hearts. In HCM, closer to 50% and doesn't last more than a couple years, typically.

            Alcohol Septal Ablation is where they inject alcohol into the septum (wall between ventricles/bottom half) and this kills any tissue that absorbs the alcohol. The tissue melts away and leaves a thinner septum. Used instead of a myectomy (the surgery to cut away the tissue). There are guidelines about when surgical removal is best vs ablation, however, some hospitals (i.e., those that are not HCM Centers of Excellence) do not follow the guidelines and just ablate whenever. This procedure has no affect on atrial fibrillation except possibly to cause it in some cases as a side effect (I have no stats on that, is just a guess).

            The other time they use a laser is for a MAZE procedure. This is also for atrial fibrillation and the laser kills a series of spots on the outside of the heart to force the heart beat along a specific pathway, thus preventing atrial fib from occurring. They also do this by cutting and sewing, but more docs are turning to lasers for this.
            Last edited by Sarah; 11-06-2008, 05:15 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Laser Ablation

              Hello
              All I know is that when I was diagnosed by a "bad" EKG from a reg. cardiologist, he sent me to the local EP. They both said I should have the laser done now and an ICD in 10-15 years.
              I went to Cleveland for a second opinion. Both the EP and the HCM specialist said it wont fix the problem and they were glad I didnt do it. (so was i !!) I got my ICD the next month. SOOO glad I got that 3rd and 4th opinion.
              I should mention that the first cardiologist is an outstanding Doc. But he wasnt a HCM specialist.
              Good Luck
              peace
              Mariab

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              • #8
                Re: Laser Ablation

                Laser ablation to do what???? did they mean a PVC ablation for afib?

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                • #9
                  Re: Laser Ablation

                  It was so my heart would beat in the proper direction. They said my EKG was like that because I had an extra pathway.
                  I would have been awake through the procedure. They planned on going through the groin area. At one point they used the term Maze.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Laser Ablation

                    Yes, I referred to the MAZE in my previous post. It is done for atrial fibrillation. They can do a MAZE via ablation (catheter like you mention) or open heart.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Laser Ablation

                      Obviously they can...the question is...should they . My HCM specialist and EP said it would not be beneficial to HCM patients. I was surprised to hear them say no to the idea. Mentally I was prepared to have it done in Cleveland...I ended up skipping that and was sent home with an ICD.
                      This disease keeps you on your toes !!
                      peace
                      Mariab

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Laser Ablation

                        That's correct. Ablations for HCM, whether pulmonary vein or MAZE, are only about fifty percent effective and may not even last more than a year or two in any case. In a normal heart, they are more than ninety percent effective.

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