Advice for up-coming 4th ablation

Posted , 8 users are following.

Some background information, I am female, 53 years old reasonably healthy except for the SVT. 

I had my first ablation in January 2016 after probably 15 years of symptoms. When I originally had these 'episodes', as I used to call them, they would last 4-8 hours with a rapid heartbeat with all the usual symptoms. I would only get them once a year so didn't  really take much notice of them until they started becoming more and more frequent a couple a month by this stage. 

I went through the hospital system and was put on Sotalol and eventually put on the list for an ablation. At this stage I was being treated for AF. I had my ablation for AF which appeared to be successful but I was then told that while they were treating the AF they saw that I had an SVT but because it was so close to the AV node they could not ablate as it would risk damaging the AV node leaving me pacemaker dependent.

After the ablation I was never symptom free and within the three months after the ablation i was taken in to A&E almost every other week with SVT that would last hours. I tried all the manoeuvres but unfortunately none of them worked. During this time I went on holiday and ended up in the local A&E department , making sure I had the translation for Adenosine ready to hand before going in.

On my return I had my second ablation they did warn me of the possibility of destroying the AV node but my Consultant was confident he would be able to ablate without this happening. Afterwards the doctors were very happy with the way it all went and told me they had managed to ablate most of the SVT except for a small part that was just too close to the node but that it should not cause me any problems.

After the ablation my medication was stopped and straight away again I started to have attacks Within the three months they were back as strong and as long as pre-ablation. I was given a week event monitor, I handed this back on the Thursday afternoon and Friday evening I had a call from the hospital as they were worried about the attacks they had seen and told me to go back on my medication immediately and that they would arrange with my consultant to put me back on the waiting list for another ablation.

So last November I had my third ablation where the remainder of the SVT that they had been unable to ablate previously was completed, along with a new AF ANVRT and AT. Afterwards I was told that  they could not completely ablate the new one they found but about 95% of it so that should be enough to kill the pathway.

On returning home the symptoms recurred and have been increasing in frequency and length 2 1/2 hours last Saturday. Also for about the past 4 months they seem to be coming during the night. I wake up and then within seconds it starts. 

The attacks leave me feeling absolutely wiped out especially as they now interrupt my sleep. I am able to use the manoeuvres  to stop them which did not work before and  usually takes 30-40 minutes except on the odd occasion but I feel now I am at the point where I can't cope with all this anymore. I work in a college and have been taken to A&E by ambulance, I am now exhausted most days as I am having attacks weekly with smaller ones of 2-3 minutes daily. 

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  • Posted

    Sorry first time user and pressed the wrong button.

     

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  • Posted

    I am on the list for a final fourth ablation with the knowledge if this does not work that the next option is an AV node ablation with a permanent pacemaker. I am just wondering whether I should push for the pacemaker without going for a fourth ablation as I just need a solution now.

    Has anyone else had this done and got any advice.

    Thanks (sorry for the lengthy post)

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  • Posted

    I am so very sorry that you are experiencing this. It does wear you out. My cardiologist had me do a sleep study and I have severe sleep apnea. He thinks that might help my heart. You might mention it to your doctor. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      I really don't think it is sleep apnea causing the night time attacks as I have never had sleep problems before or on the days when it doesn't come on. However it will be worth me asking, you never know! Thanks

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    • Posted

      You are right Linda, I'm having a test done next month. I have a pacemaker now from having SVT and my cardiologist asked me if I snored because they received a reading that had me in Afib for 3hrs off and on. I know I will probably get a cpap machine. Prevents strokes.

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline I'm a 50 yr old woman, and had my first serious SVT attach March 30th 2018. I had no idea what was happening, I just new I could not breathe. I was rushed to the ER heart racing 220 beats per minute. One of the worse experience I have ever gone thru. I had an ablation done and they thought they saw a blockage so next day o had a catheter. Thank God no blockage and my heart muscles. However my heart rate was resting below normal. I elected to have a pacemaker put in so I wouldn't have to deal with SVT's anymore. I didn't want to go on a bunch of pills to take to keep it from happening. I'm 3 weeks in with the pacemaker and I'm feeling really good so far had my follow up with my cardiologist they set the battery for 7-15yrs and I will follow up to make sure my battery is still good. I have no restrictions and was advised to continue on with my life. Maybe you should consider looking into getting one.

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    • Posted

      Wow! You had your pacemaker really quick. That's great at least you don't have to go on for years with these symptoms.

      Can I ask what sort of pacemaker you have and did they ablate the AV node.

      Sounds like you are getting sorted and recovering well.

      It's just my cardio is reluctant to go down this route for once they are saying I am too young!!! (I wish😆wink They want to exhaust all other routes first. But I am just too tired now.

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    • Posted

      Yes. My doctor told me I was to young however I would need one down the line. I opt to get it now. I don't want to continue to go thru that. Just remember younger the patient and it's tour decision. If all the stuff they keep trying isn't working most likely u will end up with one. Yes it's in the AV node. Its made by Boston Scientific

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for replying, because at the moment I really feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. The medics have been painting a pretty grim picture of the future with this pacemaker in respect of battery life and replacements and loose wires, infections etc. And even though I have said I am finding it difficult to cope with medication and going to the clinic for regular INR checks as I am on warfarin as well as weekly prolonged attacks of SVT and smaller daily ones. No caffeine, No alcohol and avoiding foods that can interfere with the warfarin. 2 years running in hospital on my holiday (3 times), they are still really pushing for a 4th ablation. But I just want my life back.

      You have now given me a bit more courage to go to my appointment (17th May) and insist on this course of action, I feel like I am almost asking them to do something that will be detrimental to my health. The last attack on Saturday evening I had to call the ambulance as the manoeuvres didn't work and to me this feels like I am back where I was 1 and 2 years ago. 

      Please keep me up to date on your progress, highs and lows as you are the first positive I have heard for this kind of pacemaker. 

      Thank you

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    • Posted

      Just an after thought as you've had the pacemaker put in for three weeks when are they ablating the AV node. I was told this would be done at about 4-6 weeks after the pacemaker is fitted to get all the levels right. Have you had yours done already or is it soon.

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    • Posted

      I had an ablation done of what they told me electrical parts. The way my cardiologist/EP doctor explained it all to me was we have an electrical system that is the pathway which pumps the blood throughout the heart he even drew a diagram of it for me. He stated that one of the veins was acting up and it basically was not allowing the blood to flow to the lower part of my heart. This is what caused the SVT. They burned them so it could flow properly and bring my heart rate back to normal. They thought maybe a blockage but my arteries are clean and my heart muscles were strong, had a catheter done next day after my ablation. So the other option was try beta blockers to regulate or get a pacemaker and continue living my life as I was. I chose the pacemaker. 1. I don't like taking a bunch of pills (already taking blood pressure meds) 2. To me what happens when the pills don't work anymore because tour body has become used to them? I don't want to live with those worries. With my pacemaker it will always keep me where I need to be, and if my heart decides to stay at regular heartbeat on it's own it will just back off and let the heart work, if it decides to try an episode it will correct. I'm not restricted from anything. I continued my blood pressure meds and I have to take a baby aspirin once a day. I can live with that. I even asked if i could have a glass of wine or 2 I'm not a heavy drinker bit I do like a cocktail every now and then. Although it's fairly new but I have not had any issues or episodes. Thanking God everyday. I want to live 😊

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    • Posted

      Reading over what you have said I don't think we are talking about the same pacemaker. The one they want to fit me is for permanent pacing/ They will kill the AV node and then I will be pacemaker dependent which is why they see it really as a last resort.

      But glad things are working out for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi...want to ask that after pacemaker any precautions for mobile phones and. Kindle book reader. Can you use them as a normal person does ? What are the actions prohibited for u after pacemaker..?
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    • Posted

      I was given no restrictions at all. Actually I used my cell phone while in the hospital, the type I have I can even go thru the security at the airports. The only thing they advised me is not to have a wand security waved over my chest because it sets off the alarms and I would need to be reprogrammed. I was advised to continue living like before after the healing process. I swim, I drink, I exercise etc.. I did change my eating habits to eating healthier. I've never felt better. It also depends on the type of device they give you. I have one of the newer ones made by Boston Scientific. Oh I can't be around heavy duty magnetic machinery. But medical machinery like MRI machines there are certain ones I can use if I ever have to get one

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