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Pediatric Cardiac Cryoablation

Pediatric Heart Disease: – The sporadic nature of irregular heart rhythms offers many challenges for patients and their families. Although usually not life-threatening, rapid heart rates, called tachycardia, can be very disruptive to affected children and their families.

Tune in to on March 22 at 5 p.m. for a one-hour live Webcast that premiers video of a 6-year-old girl undergoing a cryoablation procedure to correct her rapid heart rhythm and an interactive, live panel discussion about the procedure. Panelists include Akron Children's Hospital's Arrhythmia Center Director John Clark, M.D., Associate Director Grace Smith, M.D., and the patient and family.

Cardiac cryoablation procedures are performed by threading electrode catheters – long, slender flexible wires – into the heart to map or locate the precise area of the heart that is causing the arrhythmia. Once an electrophysiologist – a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm disorders – identifies the source of the arrhythmia, he destroys the abnormal heart tissue by freezing it off with nitrous oxide.

"Cardiac catheter ablations permanently cure tachycardia in the majority of patients who undergo it," Dr. Clark said. "For these patients, they no longer have to take medications and they can resume a normal, active lifestyle."

Akron Children's Hospital contracted with slp3D, a Connecticut-based healthcare Internet broadcasting company, to premier four procedure or surgery Webcasts in 2006. Other Webcasts will feature a minimally invasive reconstruction surgery of a knee ligament injury; an interventional repair of an atrial septal defect (ASD), commonly referred to as a "hole in the heart"; and a scoliosis surgery.

For more information about Akron Children's Hospital's Arrhythmia Center and treatment options for children and teens who have irregular heart rhythms, visit and enter SVT as the keyword.

About Akron Children's Hospital
Akron Children's Hospital cares for about 400,000 patients each year and performs more pediatric surgeries than any other hospital in Northeast Ohio. Akron Children's operates as a full-service, 253-bed pediatric hospital and houses a regional burn trauma center for both adults and children, as well as a pediatric trauma center. It also offers more than 100 advocacy, education, outreach and research programs.

Photo credit: Ted Stevens, Akron Children's Hospital



John Clark

John Clark, MD

Director, Arrhythmia Center, Electrophysiologist

Grace Lee Smith

Grace Lee Smith, MD, FAAP, FACC