Ablation or not? PLEASE HELP

Posted , 6 users are following.

Dear all,

My father (59 years old) started having serious palpitations 7/8 years ago after walking up flight of stairs. Since then, he has been seeing many docutors and taking various medications. During that time, the doctors dignosed him as "AF/palpitations". AF seemed to be in and out. According to the ECG reports, he had bouts of AF in 2006 and the end of 2013.

Starting from the last year, the symptons he mentioned is like this- strong heart beats are bothering him. He can feel his heart working all the time. During daytime, his attention is on somehwere so doesn't notice his heart much. But nighttime, he couldn't fall asleep easily. He has to take sleeping pills like on 3/4 days in a week. He doesn't have dizziness/blackout or any other symptons. He doesn't have strong flutter or serious palpitations either.

Now, we are meeting with a cardiologist to decide whether we should do ablation or not. The doc suggested sth typical - "try medication first, if that doesn't work, do ablation" And my father is said to be a good candidate for AF. But he didn't give us any strong words.

Will the ablation procedure help my father get rid of the feelings (about strong heart beats) and sleep easily at night? Please help us. Thank you so much for your time.


0 likes, 5 replies

5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Maung,

    I have been troubled with AF for the past few years ( have just turned 65).It started as paraxysmal and has now become persistent meaning I am in AF all the time.I chose this option for the following reasons : AF Ablations have only a 50-60% success rate here in NZ and the procedure is not without risk and can take on average 6 hours.A large number of patients need to have it repeated within the first 12mths. I also felt the procedure was a bit "hit and miss" and a little barbaric.Initially I found the episodes of AF quite debilitating but once I realised that the condition in itself is not life threatening and I started to relax, I felt a lot better. I take 95mg Metoprolol each day which controls my heart rate and blood pressure. Provided the heart rate is under control you tend not to notice the AF and I believe a lot of older people do as I have and just live with the AF using only rate control medication.

    I think the doctor is right to treat the AF with drugs in the first instance as I initially kept AF away by taking "Flecainide" which works very well without the toxic risks of taking Amiodorone. I hope this helps in some way - Cheers Derek R. Ch Ch NZ.


  • Posted

    Hi maung,

    I chose not to go down the ablation route - just didn't fancy somebody barbequing my heart. I have been fortunate that medication seems to be doing the trick in controlling the AF, along with major diet/food changes. 6 months after being diagnosed I became aware that an AF event was preceeded by a range of digestive issues and so went to a Nutrionist and was put on a diet. The digestive issues have now cleared up totally so long as I watch what I eat, and to a degree drink and I now can't remember my last AF event. Nutrionist feels my Vagal (or Vagus) Nerve is dysfunctional. This nerve (suggest you 'Google' it) controls both the heart and the digestive system.

    Sleeplessness though is an ongoing problem. Drop off to sleep in minutes - staying asleep is another matter - normall wake around 2 to 3 am with such an active mind I could easily redesign 'concorde' - stay awake for up to 2 hours then back to sleep for another 4 hours or so.

    Good luck


  • Posted

    I'm on Acebutolol ( a beta blocker ) post ablation ... My ablation didn't work and caused problems but also I was given an "empirical" ablation which I am mad about because I was supposed to have my AF induced in order to ablate and they weren't able to induce it and went on ahead and burned scar tissue in the most likely area. If your father goes through with the ablation, make sure he understands the risks and is notified if they are doing it "empirically"


  • Posted

    Barbequing is a good way to describe it I heard it being called soldering. I am 45 with dilated cardiomyopathy. I now have AF after my ICD shocked me 5 times. In the hospital thet tried cardioversion but failed so now I have persistant AF. I went back a couple weeks ago(St Goerges Tooting London) and they said they won't do the ablation as I was still drinking and to come back in January. I am on bisoprolol and digoxin for rate control and warfarin for clots. I am simply exausted and weak and nauseaus all the time and terrified that my INR will go down and form a clot and get a stroke. I am now looking forward to Christmas which I hate but I know January they will probably do the ablation. I could not lead a normal life like this even a walk to the shop is too much for me I just want to stay indoors. It is also difficult to accept that persistant AF has a lower success rate for ablation. Not feeling good at the moment. Sleeping is bad too but bisoprolol also contributes to the sleep and fatigue problems. I have very bad anxiety.
  • Posted

    I am 76 and have tried cardio version and catheter ablation, neither of which worked for more than a few hours.  I have been told that I could have another ablation, with a 50 to 80 percent chance of it being successful.   Then you are also told that  you may need another in a couple of years! 

    Quite frankly with the risks involved and the dread during the months of waiting for the procedure, I do not think it is worth it.   I am on candesartan for blood pressure, digoxin for heart rate and warfarin.    These drugs no longer give me side effects ( others such as bisoprolol did).   I eat sensibly , excercise as much as i can, walking, gardening etc, which helps me sleep

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