New technology inside Bay Medical Center is changing the way doctors approach a common heart issue, being the first of its kind in the area.

A little over a year ago, Kenny Sadler noticed a change in his energy and breathing habits. He said,  “what would take me 30 minutes to do, it would take me an hour to do because I was short winded and couldn’t achieve what I wanted to do.”

Sadler was suffering from a condition called, Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib), a common heart rhythm disorder.

His doctor tried medication and other options but nothing worked. “My doctor asked me to do hold on and that he had a new doctor coming in town January first and I was first on the list,” said Sadler.

This new doctor, originally from Pennsylvania, knew Bay County was a great place to introduce this new procedure.

“Learning from my colleagues, there’s a large population of patients here that suffer from atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Nghia Hoang of the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida.

The procedure is called Cryoablation and uses a catheter to travel through the body, forming a balloon full of liquid nitrogen. It ultimately freezes tissue in the heart’s upper chamber to block the signals causing the irregular heart beat. 

“We create a controlled scar so the Atrial Fibrillation cannot spread out freely to the rest of the heart,” said Dr. Hoang.

Hoang says the procedure has a higher success rate than other A-Fib procedures.

Sadler says, “every since he’s done the ablation on me, I feel great, I can get out and work, my breathing isn’t short anymore so it worked. Whatever he did, it worked.”

Some common symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation are heart palpitations, fainting, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath and angina. 

A-Fib could potentially lead to stroke, heart attack or heart failure. 

To contact Dr. Hoang at the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida at (850)769-0329.