CTAFC: 600 Cryoballoon cases and counting

14th May 2019

28 January 2019




Dr Razeen Gopal, renowned cardiologist and electrophysiologist based at Mediclinic Panorama, performed his 600th cryo-ablation procedure on Monday, 21 January 2019. According to Medtronic South Africa, this is the first time a single operator has completed 600 cryo cases within the MEACAT (Middle East
Africa and Turkey) region.


In 2011 Dr Gopal was one of the first South African specialists to start performing these procedures in high volumes.


The 600th patient, Mr Paul Dinsmore, aged 61, from Newlands is a telecoms consultant and avid endurance trainer, and was referred to Dr Gopal for the ablation procedure. He underwent the surgery on Monday and hopes to return to endurance training in the near future.


Cryo-ablation makes use of extremely low temperature (intense cold energy) to eliminate the
effect of malfunctioning cells that spark additional electrical signals. The heart’s rhythm and
rate can therefore be regulated. Two catheters are inserted through the groin and into the femoral veins, which are then pushed up into the right atrium of the heart. They are positioned in the left atrium through two small holes made in the septum between the two chambers. A cryo-balloon is inserted at the base of one of the four pulmonary veins, inflated and cooled. This cooling from the balloon creates a contiguous ring of strategically damaged heart tissue, which effectively blocks faulty signals. The process is then repeated on the other three veins.