Ablation for arrhythmia

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I am 71 yo, have had arrhythmia for many years, going into afib many times which resulted in trips to ER and being prepared for a "shock" to get heart back in rhythm. About 5 years ago I was started on Flecainide 50 mg 2xday. That helped for a while then was increased to 100 mg 2xday. Most recently I was prescribed 150 mg 2xday. Currently I am scheduled to have ablation to possibly correct the arrhythmia and maybe stop Flecainide. To say the least I am nervous. Any comments or encouragement would be greatly appreciated. 

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  • Posted

    I had an ablation and was put on Flecainide (and a blood thinner) immediately afterwards to the point that I never had the chance to verify whether it was the ablation or the Flecainide that had gotten rid of the AFIB symptoms. it's been over four years now. I reduced my dosage on my own from 100 mg twice per day to 50 mg twice a day because I was getting dizzy spellsl (and even fainted once) which I attributed to the Flecainide. luckily, my symptoms didn't increase, and the fainting didn't recur. I'm 65, and I play vigorous singles tennis every other day for 1.5 hours or so. my new cardiologist wants to put me on a new blood thinner since I'm 65 and have only been taking baby aspirin to thin my blood after the first few weeks after surgery. the Ablation surgery wasn't problematic; it certainly was no cure though. I know that because if I stop taking Flecainide altogether, the symptoms begin almost immediately to recur. people talk about the need for multiple ablations. I'm hoping for some other breakthrough...

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    • Posted

      It is so good to hear that you have done well and are able to play tennis. I had been on 81 mg aspirin for several years and my electrophysiologist prescribed Eliquis 5 mg 2xday a few months ago. I have done well on this but am a little apprehensive that he did  not tell me to stop it a few days before having ablation. He emphasized that I am not to miss a dose and will take it even the morning of surgery. My instructions say that I must lie completely still for six hours after the procedure and that a nurse will apply strong pressure to the site where the probes are inserted. Right now I would just like to fast forward a month and this would all be over with.

       

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    • Posted

      I was under full sedation and woke up after the procedure with no complications. The incision is minimal so maybe that's why they're not worried about bleeding. I had to remain in the hospital for observation for a day afterwards, and I can't remember regretting the operation for a moment in terms of post surgical trauma. I think you'll be fine, and you'll be surprised how soon the next month will arrive. I hope you won't be required to take Flecainide or anything else for Afib afterwards. Best of luck on your procedure. Let us know how it plays out!

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  • Posted

    Hi, your story is very similar to mine of increasing dosage of Flecainide. I was also on a max dose of Bisoprolol. I found the side effects to be quite troubling and followed cardiologist advice to have an ablation. I am 76 and had the procedure in April 2015. I was most freaked out by having to stop the Flecainide and Bisoprolol for 4 days before the procedure, but need not have worried as the AF actually stopped! I was relaxed during most of the Ablation, but asked for extra sedation a couple of times. Home in 24hrs, I would happily have another if needed. My cardiologist advised that it can take 3 months for full benefits to be achieved, in my case it took 6, my only symptoms now are an infrequent Ectopic Heart beat. I remain on Warfarin as I have other risk factors. So my advice would be to "go for it," but accept that the success rate is 70 to 80% and thete are some risks your Cardilogist will advise you about. Good luck and best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so very much for the encouragement. My procedure is scheduled for Aug. 26 (I had it scheduled for last May but became very apprehensive and canceled it). If I can just get off Flecainide and lose the excess weight it has caused I will be happy.
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    • Posted

      Thanks and all the best for the 26th. Do please report back to us all after the event.
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    • Posted

      I am reporting back as you requested. My procedure was done yesterday and I am quite pleased with the doctor's report afterwards. He said all went as planned. The procedure itself was about 3 hours.He told me to reduce Flecainide disage from 150 mg 2xday to 100 2xday and to stop it completely in eight weeks. If you are interested you may see a detailed post in this same forum. 

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  • Posted

    I had my scheduled ablation yesterday (8/26/16) and am so glad I did it. Thank you all who encouraged me and said "go for it". Before the procedure I had to "swallow the camera" (TEE) to take pictures of my heart and make sure there was not a blood clot. This was rather unpleasant because I had to gargle a numbing solution for one and half minutes. I was then lightly sedated during the actual test. Afterwards I was prepped and taken to the lab where I was made comfortable and given general anesthesia. I was told to count to 10 then the next thing I knew the nurses were calling my name and saying the procedure is over.  After spending time in recovery I was taken to my hospital room and offered lunch which I declined because of a little nausea. Saltines and a 7-up took care of that quickly. Later I did have some pretty severe pain in the groin area where the heart catheters were inserted. The nurse gave me Tylenol which was not quite strong enough. A pain med did the trick and I have not had pain since except for some soreness. The electrophysiologist said he was successful in causing my heart to go into both quiver and a-fib during the ablation. This allowed him to zap the cells causing my arrythmia. He did cut my Flecanide from 150 mg 2xday to 100 mg 2xday and said he will probably reduce the dosage further when I see him in November. 

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  • Posted

    glad to hear all is well! camera swallowing? yikes! I'm glad it wasn't required in my case. trhink I would have had to go under sedation first. LOL

    however, I still wonder if ablations are such a successful procedure, why Flecainide is required at all...

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