Cryoablation uses extremely cold temperature to destroy cells. Cardiac catheter cryoablation is used to destroy selected heart cells.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have cardiac catheter cryoablation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain at the catheter insertion site
  • Blot clot formation
  • Injuries to blood vessels or the heart
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Heart attack
  • Heart tear

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Smoking
  • Chronic diseases

Your level of risk may be related to the specific arrhythmia that you have and any underlying medical conditions.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Cryotherapy; Cryoablation)


American Heart Association 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 


Health Canada 

Women's Health Matters 


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Cryoablation for atrial fibrillation in association with other cardiac surgery. National Institute for Clinical Excellence website. Available at: Updated February 10, 2016. Accessed June 9, 2016.

6/3/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.