Ablation Surgery did NOT work for me

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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.  


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  • Posted

    I mentioned previously that when informed I had afib I decided against ablation after discussing with my cardiologist. The reasons are;

    - the holter monitoring revealed my heart flatlined on three occassions in 24 hours. I was lucky it was only momentarily.

    - I was informed that ablation cannot guarantee complete success.

    - I do not have insurance coverage and cannot afford multiple ablations.

    My cardiologist recommended that I stabilise my heartbeat with a heart pacer and thereby prevent further flatlining.

    Installed my pacer on 1st Dec 2015. I am awaire that I still have afib but the pacer ensures that my heart rate stays above 50 bpm. I am on Tenormin for hypertention and warfarin for afib.

    Until a few weeks ago I complained of fatigue and general weakness. I ask my cardiologist if my current meds are causing my problem. He informed 'no' after my heart pacer check-up and blood test. He said my problem is 'life style' which I interprete as "Unfit caused by bad habits and nutrition and underexercising".

    I started exercising, changed my vitamin supplements and start behaving like a healthy person and I do feel much better.

    I hope this sharing helps.

    And I am Malaysian!

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  • Posted

    Hi Suzanne

    I was just wondering why they did a cardiac ablation on you when you never had any AFib before the procedure?

    I may be facing some of this treatment down the road if my Afib returns. But I know so many people that have had the treatment four or five times and it hasn't worked.

    Just wondering how you are now, hope you are feeling well.

    I will be facing Open Heart surgery for a Mitral Valve repair and also they will do an ablation on me at the same time. Or, I will get a catheter type of mitral valve repair but may face some ablations if the Afib comes back. Tough decision.

    Thanks for any comments you have. I have known people who have said never again would they get an ablation. Not sure what to do!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue,

      I had an ablation in July last year following a semi-successful cardioversion in 2018. I say semi -successful because I went back into Afib in march 2021.

      The Ablation seems to have worked for me, it's a more invasive procedure than cardioversion, I was under General Anaesthetic for four and a half hours and off work for ten days in all, but saying that if you're due open heart surgery for a Mitral Valve repair then Ablation will probably be the least of your problems regarding recovery.

      I wouldn't say I found it an enjoyable process, it wasn't even worth it for the time off work however if Afib came back and I was recommended another the few days discomfort wouldn't put me off.

      I'm in the UK and had it done in a day surgery unit at Bournemouth Hospital and I cannot praise the team there highly enough, friendly, professional, supportive and genuinely committed to helping.

      For reference I'm male and was 58 when I had the procedure, within 4 weeks I was out running again.

      My experience was positive but I would urge you to speak to the medical team, get them to detail what they want to do and why, and what benefit you can expect as well as any potential ill effects.

      I always reflect on the fact that twenty years ago the procedures I've been through, and for you even more so, were cutting edge experimentation and now they are done as routine, often in day surgery so should be nothing to worry about.

      Good luck, although I'm convinced you won't need it.

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