Mark Y. Lee, M.D., medical director, electrophysiology, (center) continues to advance cardiac care performing his 500th cryoablation, a leading procedure that utilizes extreme cold to destroy abnormal heart tissue.

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center’s electrophysiology team, led by Mark Lee, M.D., successfully completed its 500th cryoablation procedure for patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common heart rhythm disorder affecting millions of Americans. This achievement marks a significant milestone for the electrophysiology program, which is one of the most advanced and comprehensive in the region.

Dr. Mark Lee, the medical director of electrophysiology at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center, performed the landmark 500thprocedure. 

"This milestone procedure showcases the exceptional efforts of our electrophysiology team, who are committed to enhancing the quality of life for patients with AFib,” says Dr. Lee. "Cryoablation is a game-changer for many patients with AFib, as it can reduce their risk of stroke and heart failure."

Cryoablation is a minimally invasive, catheter-based treatment used to treat certain heart rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation (AFib) which causes an irregular heartbeat. During the procedure, a thin tube called a catheter is inserted through the blood vessels to reach the heart applying extreme cold to specific areas of the heart tissue causing the abnormal heart rhythm — effectively freezing and destroying problematic cells.

Cryoablation is faster and more precise than traditional surgical methods and has a lower risk of bleeding, infection, and complications from anesthesia. Recent studies have shown cryoablation is significantly more effective than medication in preventing AFib recurrence, and patients generally experience less pain and discomfort than with radiofrequency ablation.

“Cryoablation is a safe and effective one-time procedure that helps reduce the need for long-term drug therapy and the associated side effects it comes with, providing patients an alternative option for minimally invasive advanced treatment options,” says Dr. Lee.

Offering the latest in advanced technologies, The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center has a dedicated electrophysiology lab equipped with the latest technology and staffed by nationally recognized physicians to provide the complete continuum of cardiovascular care. The Heart & Vascular Institute offers a comprehensive range of services for patients with cardiac disorders including diagnostic testing, device implementation, ablation therapy and follow-up care.

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