Ablation

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Hi, I just finished with having a 14 day  cardiac monitor and my doctor just emailed me telling me that I’ve been in afib the whole time . I emailed him back and asked a few questions then asked him about getting an ablation, he answered all my questions except the ablation question . Has anyone else had similar response from their doctor ? It was like he just purposely overlooked that question . I’m feeling a bit frustrated because I’m tired of feeling so tired and out of breath all the time . 

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  • Posted

    Does anyone know the success rate of ablation?  And why isn’t that the first option instead of taking so much medication ? 
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    • Posted

      Success rates vary considerably as there are many variables. But some electrophysiologists are more skilled at this than others, and this is reflected in their success rates.

      I strongly recommend that you do your research and get the most competent electrophysiolost available to you.

      Doctors will always try to control AF with medication first, as ablations are a pretty invasive procedure and have some serious potential risks.

      Also look at addressing your AF risk factors and lifestyle, as this will also impact on the long term success of an ablation.

      I'm just over two years post ablation now and have a completely normal life. I've been told to limit my alcohol to three drinks per week, no longer smoke, got down to a healthy weight(but a bit has crept back on lately!) and gradually built up to a brisk, 5km walk, 3 times a week. Was told that living the right kind of lifestyle can significantly enhance the longevity of a successful ablation.

      But having a really good electrophysiologist is a must. Don't just let any old Dr do abations on your heart muscle.

      Good luck with your AFib journey

      Simon😀

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  • Posted

    I've had nothing but frustrating results from doctors in regards to diagnosis with monitors. 

    Did your monitor have any realtime evaluation?  If so, they knew it from day one.

    Was this a cardiologist?  If it was your primary and he's not a cardiologist, he might be doing a consult on the results.  But of course he should have made that clear to you.

    Heck, I've never had a doctor who would answer email anyway.

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  • Posted

    The success rate of a first ablation is probably well under 50%, and the cumulative success rate of up to three ablations is under 80%, I gather.  These are just my impressions, could be off by a lot here.  Also depends on what you mean by "success", often there are improvements but not a full fix.  Sometimes no effects.  And I'm sure sometimes it somehow makes it worse.  And the precise details of your ECG may determine the success rate, too.  It's more art than science, and that's being charitable about it.

    May have one (or more) in my future.

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  • Posted

    Hi there

    I was diagnosed with persistent AF after xmas this year and the first thing they did was try the medication line to slow the heart down but not the rhythm control meds.  They didn't really wait to see if that worked as they booked me in for a Cardioversion almost straight away.  This worked ...........for four days!  After that they put me onto Sotalol (rhythm control) and said to leave it for a month or so and then do another Cardioversion.  My Cardio did say that there was no guarantee that it would stay working but if it didn't the next shot would be an Ablation however the success rate was only 60% of it sticking.  I had my second Cardioversion on 26/04 and I have stayed in Sinus Rhthym since then.  I am still on Sotalol and will be for a while I think. I went to see the Cardiologist the other day and he is pleased that everything is still good.  Fingers crossed I don't need to go to the next step.

    Have you asked your team about a Cardioversion?  I would try this first - the effect is amazing (instantly) when you are back in Sinus Rhythm - energy levels straight back up, no breathlessness etc etc.  Go for the easy option first but you may also still need meds to sustain the repair.

    Good luck with everything.  

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    • Posted

      I had my first cardioversion last may 2017 they shocked my heart four times it didnt work . So my cardiologist said since it didn’t work then the chances of it working now is very low . He wants to up my rate control meds. Which makes me feel even worse . I was on the higher dose for seven months and could not function. . So my primary care doctor lowered the dose now the cardiologist wants to increase the dose back . So frustrating. 
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    • Posted

      I was told that success of cardioversion depends on the size of your left  atrium. I was told that the echocardiogram showed mine to be too big but if I had an ablation that might reduce its size and make for a successful cardioversion..

      If you google atrium size and cardioversion you will find articles on it. 

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  • Posted

    green breaker from what I know and I have paroxysmal afib. most times afib is initially treated with some type of drug(s) or combo of drugs. as much as anything an operation (ablation) on your heart does carry risks of complications some of which could be life changing/threatening (small chance) . so why take that risk initially. at the moment I seem to be ok on diltaziem + flecainide each day. however that may change. I think once it cannot be treated with drugs and /or your quantity of life is badly affected they consider ablation.

    why your doctor didn't mention ablation I don't know.

    best of luck

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  • Posted

    Is your cardiologist an electrocardiologist? That's who you need to be seeing! Had the cryo ablation done after meds stopped working 2 years ago and have never been happier! Cryo is much more successful than the burn technique.

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  • Posted

    Strange he overlooked your question. Call him up and ask him what his recommendations are. I had an ablation about 6 months ago and so far in rhythm . Still on blood thinner and heart med. They don't like to take you off so fast.I certainly have more energy. less tired and easier to climb steps. I put it off just because I was scared. Now looking back a mistake but each case is different. I investigated a lot before.

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  • Posted

    I was admitted to Hospital with AF in March and at that time I was aware that I had It. I was also told that I had it throughout my stay,although as was not aware of it.
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  • Posted

    Whilst being under observation in the hospital's Cardiac Unit back in 2011. It was then I was diagnosed with A Fib. However, I was told that day by a consultant that I would have to have an Ablation which would cure the problem. So, hearing that gave me immense relief. However, a few hours later my cardiologist (not the consultant) decided to discharge me with medication and would not let me have the Ablation but, to have more tests e.g Echo Cardiogram and Heart Monitor at an outpatient appointment. Fortunately, the tests gave a good result. However, a Health Care Professional told me that Ablation didn't always work and that the Consultant should not have told me that Ablation would cure me. As he'd seen other patients come into A&E with A Fib that had had the Ablation previously. This confused and frustrated me. So, now I just keep taking the tablets.

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  • Posted

    Hi. Ive had 3 ablations. First was 75% successful and consultant knew this immediately as he had not been able to get the cryo balloon to "seat" correctly in two of the veins. No 2 was 6 months later and he thought hed nailed it, however my nerve pathways thought otherwise and I still had PAF. No 3 was a touchup, but also SVC area. Im not "cured" but, when I get an episode, its significantly less impactive. My pulse is lower, generally not above 120 at worst, but more like 95-100. Not ideal, but I function far better and have not had to take sick days. Ablation isnt a cure all, but has helped me, AND i am now med free too. Their effect was to zombiefy me permanently, so after discussion, he agreed I could stop them. Im in a sort of limbo but for the past year, returned to being a 90% functioning being from the washout I was before. I agree with other comments suggesting you recontact and press the discussion. He needs to be clear with you about options, but weigh it up carefully as ablation does carry a number of risks - it is your heart after all. Good luck.

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