Ablation Surgery did NOT work for me

Posted , 9 users are following.

Some of you may have seen my posts before, but wanted to bring info to new people and update the ones who might have been following me.

After having Ablantion surgery the end of March, I have now been told that it was not successful.  It seemed to be working well for two months and then into the third (blankiing) month, I started to feel the symptoms of Afib (which I had never previously had), my blood pressure and pulse rate went from normal and 59 respectively to triple digits and my dialostic pressure started going into the high 90's.  

A holter montior last week confirmed that I was in persistent afib-- which I hadn't been in prior to the ablation and that the surgery had been unsuccessful.  I have an appointment with the cardo doc tomorrow when I believe he will schedued me for a cardioconversion.

As an aside, I had been on propafaone since last December and was experiencing worsening side affects (sleeplessness, loss of appetite, metalic taste, indigestion, heartburn, dizziness, fatigue, increased pulse beat and blood pressure).  I had been on 325 mg 2xday and the EP dropped me to 225 mg 2x/day after my surgery in at the end of March.

At my last visit to the doc and after my daughter had connected all these negative side affects to the propafone, we told him I wanted off the drug competely.  He was in the process of weaning me off, when the next morning before taking the propafaone my pulse rate was 67 and it climbed to 127 within a half hour of taking the pill.  I told him I wanted to go off it cold turkey, which I did immediately.

Since Friiday, and no propafaone, my blood pressure and pulse rate has been doing down.  When I asked why I should be on it, he said, "no reason", so I'm off it now and am starting to feel a little better . I have no intention of going back on it and hope he doesn't insist I do in order to get the cardioconversion.

I will keep you all posted.  


0 likes, 19 replies

19 Replies

  • Posted

    so sorry it didnt work for you. i am scheduled july 11 and went to my doc and insisted i be put back on a monitor to see how often inwas in afib, and he agreed. it has spaced out a lot since february and i am having 2nd and 3rdthoughts about doing it.

    i have had 3 episodes in 40 days and had one episode 2 nights ago lasting 2 hours. i had rolled over onto my stomach while sleeping and immediately went into afib. nothing is guaranteed i guess so im going to take my meds and hope for the best.

    are u in afib all the time? that is the only reason they would do a cardioversion. it will definitely convert u, just hope and pray it dont convert back. r u symptomatic now? what is your rate?

    concerned and wish u the best.


  • Posted

    Sorry to learn about your current tribulations. That your ablation did not work is not uncommon. When I learnt that I have AF after my ablation for WPW Syndrome ablation was an option. I decided in favour of a heart pacer instead. It has been 6 months since and I believe I decided correctly.

    I was on Cordarone to manage my WPW before I was told I also have AF. This drug caused hypothyroid and I was free of my thyroid problem when I stopped taking the drug. I am still on Tenormin for hypertention.

    Recently I have experienced the following.

    - sleepiness, lathargic, and blurred vision.

    I changed the multivits I was taking and added Zinc and B complex. I resumed my Chi Kung deep breathing and stretching exercises. Met my physician to confirm I am no longer Hypothyroid and got my eyes tested for blurred vision.

    My physician confrimed from blood test that I am free from Thyroid problems. My optometrist confirmed there are slight traces of cataract and a very mild indication of glaucoma.

    I have appointments in six months with my cardiologist, my eye doctor, and my optician.

    Meanwhile I am going ahead to improve my heart and stamina through nutritiion, exercise and proper rest. And I am back at the golf course!

  • Posted

    Hi Suzanne,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us all. I made the decision not to have the ablation after the cardio Electrophysiologist gave me the pro's and con's of having it done. he also told me that for many people it only lasts about 3 months and I couldn't see the point in putting myself through it.

    So as at the moment I am keeping stable on the medication I have put anyhting intusive on hold.

    Can you tell me what Propafaone is I have never heard of it, is there a generic name it is better known by.

    As we all know sometimes the medication can cause problems we all react differently to things.

    I hope you soon feel better


    • Posted

      Propafanone also goes by ruthmol. Comes in 325 and 225 mg doses twice a day

      Since going off it last Friday my pulse and blood pressure have gone way down and I feel a lot better.

      I will not go on it again.

    • Posted

      Hi Suzanne,

      Hers hoping your problems were medication induced and you will now start to feel better, as we all know we all react differently to meds.

      I guess because I am in the UK is why I have never heard of Propafanone.

      I was told by my cardio Electrophysiologist that I was not a good candidate for ablation because I am female and my weight is to low, and he preferred to keep me stable on meds, and will only do abaltion if he deems it necessary.

      I like all of you am not happy about taking meds for the rest of my life, my GP keeps saying the benefits outweigh the risks.

      Take care


    • Posted

      Linda, I wonder if you misunderstood your EP because they can't even tell if ablation has worked until three months are up -- it's called a 'blanking period" where anything that happens within 3 months of the surgery doesn't  count.

      I'm feeling better since I was hospitalized earier in the week.  they put me on triple the dose of metopropol and also on digoxin and I came out of afib and was able to stay out (two days later) -- and am hoping it continues.  

    • Posted

      Hi Suzanne,

      That is definitely what he told me but like Simon referred to in his piece each Eloctrophysiologist has different skills and as we all live spread all over the world we have different things available.Pity we can't all pop to Australia and take part in the research study Simon is on.

      Sorry to hear that you have had a hospital stay, here's hoping you stay in sinus, I wil keep everything crossed for you.


    • Posted

      I must admit that I have been very fortunate to have done my homework and  asked around an awful lot. My brother is head of ER at one of the hospitals here in Adelaiade, South Australia. A friend's sister is a cardiologist here as well. They both, along with my cardiologist, steered me toward my electro physiologist. I then 'stalked' him online and found out he is one of leading EPs in the world and is at the forefront of Atrial fibrillation research. (Can't believe he's living here in sleepy old Adelaide!)

      Anyway, being a schoolteacher, I generally go to my appointments with a list of questions that I would like answered. Apparently this guy(and his team) now burn one fairly large 'box' around the four pulmonary veins. In the past. EPs used to burn two smaller 'rings' around the two pairs of pulmonary veins (which is the source of AF in almost everybody). The school of thought is that burning a bigger ring/box has a greater chance of containing the offending electrical signals that cause AF, and that burning smaller rings(as many EPs have done in the past) has less chance of containing the rogue electrical signals. 

      I guess time will tell how effective this newer technique and is. Based on this, I guess  atrial ablation therapy is still an emerging area of medicines do will continue to be refined.

  • Posted

    Hi Suzanne,

    Found this enlightening forum and this is my first contribution. I developed persistent AF after picking up a bug on a business flight resulting in pneumonia. I was given cardioversion which lasted five years but in February 2016 it returned and I am really struggling and like you thinking of ablation. I have been waiting to see a cardio ever since and now have an appointment on the 20th July. I was taken by ambulance to A&E last week with chest pains but they have just increased my bisoprolol from 2.5mg to 5mg. I read your post with interest but I am now having reservations should I go for another cardioversion or is it possible for an ablation and then I can stop taking these drugs with all their side effects. I have an AliveCor Kardia on my Iphone which shows my pulse somewhere between 100 and 145 bpm.

    I shall follow your posts with interest and wish you well.


    • Posted

      my rate stays in the 50's with my meds, but i still feel the "quiver" especially at night. occasionally i go to 90-100 for a couple hours. i know it is afib because i have the bladder thing going. can pee enough in two hours an amount i wouldnt put out in 2 days. wish i could go to Australia where Simon is, but i am going to have my ablation july11. hope to be off al meds except the blood thnner.

      i cant imagine my pulse being 100-145 all the time. are u exhausted? your body cant tolerate that rate for long.

      hoping u the best. keep us posted.

      the alive kardia for iphone is a great tool. i have it too.

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear it didn't work for you Suzanne. I had my ablation a couple of months ago on the 20th of April, so far so good. I guess that's the thing with Afib; you just never know when it's going to come back ( and it seems that it always returns- eventually).

    I agreed to be part of an Afib research study here in Australia when I had my ablation. My Electrophysiologist was claiming an 85% success rate at the five year mark with his ablation technique (apparently burning/ablating strategies and techniques can vary quite a bit) PROVIDED I addressed al my risk factors. When they did the ablation they also put in a loop recorder  (a device that monitors me 24/7).  This loop recorder has a base station that lives under my bed and at 1am every morning it transmits data to the base station, which in turn transmits the data to my Electrophysiologist's computer via the 3G phone network. (Pretty amazing stuff!). The battery in the loop recorder is good for about 3 years apparently. 

    Guess I'm pretty lucky to have this 'state of the art' monitoring (and I really like that it didn't cost anything, because I'm part of a research study). 

    Guess I just have to get on with my life and wait to see what the future has in store for me.


  • Posted

    What country are you in? And what are the published country success rates for abalation for AF? Are there hospital stats as well? I ask because there seems to be a large number of failures represented on the forum. According to the stats for the UK  success should be in the 80% mark after two ablations for parxysmal AF
    • Posted

      Just a thought; perhaps we don't hear too much from successful ablation patients on these forums because they're 'fixed' and don't feel they need to be a part of this forum anymore? 

      I guess I'm secretly hoping that is the case!! ??

    • Posted

      I'm in the US.  I was told the chances of success were 70-80%.  But nothing was said that was after TWO ablations. A nights hospitalization and one new med and an increase in current ones put  me back into synus  and lowered my rising blood pressure and pulse rate.  Now I just have to stay there. Cardiologist is suggesting  second ablation if afib returns. 

      Im afraid, second ablation or not, I will have to be on meds the rest of my life. 

    • Posted

      my doctor told me two ablations were to be expected before we reached the 75-80 percent mark. it could be that successful, but he said he was being honest about it usually takes two."a touchup" for missed spots or new ones that occur because of the first ablation. go figure. im in US also. Kentucky.

    • Posted

      My doc is suggesting a second ablation if I do not stay in sinus..Two days and counting and I seem to be staying there -- please dear God.  Have an EKG scheduled for next week and hopefully it will be good.

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