The majority of our ablation procedures use radiofrequency to heat the abnormal heart muscle to modify it. The alternative method is to use freezing technology called cryotherapy.
Theoretically cryotherapy can be used for most abnormal heart heart rhythm disturbances that we ablate but in our experience we tend to use cryoabltion for procedures where we think the risk of damaging the normal electrical conducting system of the heart is high.
The advantages of using cryoabaltion are that it is less likely to damage that underlying normal conducting system and that it is virtually painless thus requiring less sedation and pain-killers. The disadvantages are that the chance of recurrence is higher and procedures can take longer.
When we plan the ablation with our patients we discuss the possibility of cryoablation when we think it is appropriate.