Anyone have 100% success with Ablation?

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Hi,

My name is Danielle, I just joined the forums for some support. I am 31 years old and had my first catheter ablation about 6 weeks ago for ventricular tachycardia. I've been reading a lot of different stories online about those who have had ablation and I have yet to read at least one story that resulted in 100% success. It seems like many people have still had issues after the surgery and others have had 2 or 3 more ablations. I had a really great doctor and he assured me that he got all the areas that were causing the arrhythmia. I went from have several really bad episodes a day to none at all but just a few days ago the palpitations returned, not severe like they were but I constantly feel dizzy or light headed. I would be so disappointed if the surgery didn't work. It's only been a little over a month since the surgery and I don't go back to the cardiologist until another two months so the heart is still healing and these recent palpitations might be nothing to worry about but I am just wondering how many people have had full success with their ablation? How long have you been cured? And did you have episodes in between your healing before they were finally gone for good?

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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle,

    Sorry to hear your still having problems. I was 75 years young when I had my ablation 21 months ago and have had no problems since, I was told that it could return.

    I Had my ablation for atrial flutter which I only found out about by chance when I volunteered for cardiac trial.

    chance when I volunteered for a cardiac trial.

    The whole procedure took just over One hour the first that the hospital have done without any sedative.

    I get my pulse checked from time to time just to make certain that I am in sinus rhythm.

    Good luck Ken.

    I

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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle.

    I had my ablation over four years ago (when I was 53) at a time when I was having about six bad SVT episodes every day.

    I have not had one since.

    During the first month or so I kept getting sensations (flutters) that seemed like SVT was about to start, but it never did. I really don't know if those pre-SVT-like flutters have gone away completely or if I have just learned to ignore them.

    I still get the odd flutters, jitters and maybe some arrthymia (perhaps from too much caffeine or booze!), but never SVT. So I'm pretty confident the SVT is cured for good. There have been quite a few on here that have also been cured.

    I can't be scientific about this because I haven't actually kept count, but I'd guess for every two cured first time there has, unfortunately, been one that failed for one reason or another. In most cases the surgeons knew thay were failures before they left the theatre (e.g. unable to stimulate SVT in theatre, so unable to locate the precise area to work on).

    I do hope your SVT is cured but, if not, I understand that for most people there is a high success rate at the second attempt.

    I don't know what type of medical scheme you're on, but if I were you I'd try to get back to the cardio sooner than two months (which was probably based on presumed success). I'd at least get back to my GP to discuss the anxiety over whether SVT is gone or not (that sort of worry is not good for you), and they might also want to put you on a mobile heart monitor to see what's going on.

    Really wishing you the best.

     

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  • Posted

    Thank you Maxine and Ciaran for your replies. It's good to know that there are some who have had success. I just hope that my current issue isn't a sign of things to come. I just find it bizarre that I was fine for a month and then they come out of nowhere again. I guess not so much bizzare but rather disappointing. I have a hard time believing that another two months is going to make a difference but the doctor was determined that three months was key. We will see how it goes.

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    • Posted

      I really want to be optimistic for you Danielle, but I fear your ablation might not have worked.

      My guess is that the 3 month period is not so much for it to settle down but rather that if SVT doesn't come back within 3 months then its gone for good. I do hope I'm wrong, but I'd guess that if you have had even one SVT episode since the ablation then it hasn't worked.

      But maybe what you've had recently was not actually SVT like before and instead something less worrying?

      This is why I feel you should get back to the medics as soon as you can to confirm where you are now and hopefully, if it hasn't worked, start the ball rolling to have another go at it.

      Please keep as positive as you can.

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks! Yes I will try to stay positive. So far they haven't been anything like before and I am able to deal with them but if they get worse then I will definitely give the cardio a call. I've been keeping a log and writing down the dates and times and how long they last. I guess I was under the impression that I would never have to experience another episode again. I hope it gets better. Thank you so much for your support.

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    • Posted

      Danielle. A few things.

      The first is that, no matter how bad, SVT will not cause a heart attack.

      Second, from my experience, most people that have SVT have physically healthy hearts. Its just an electrical blip that can be eliminated.

      Thirdly, if your trusted cardio says you are suitable for an ablation then go for it (if you don't trust your cardio or GP then change to another one!).

      Fourth, you seem like a positive person. If wrecks like me (and Ken!?) come out the other end better off then why wouldn't you?

      Don't stop until you're rid of this temporary curse.....

      Thinking of you...

       

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    • Posted

      I trust my cardio, he is one of the best in my area. He seems to really know what he is talking about and explains everything perfectly clear. That's why when he told me to wait 3 months, I chose to listen because I do believe he knows what he is talking about. And even if I am having SVT, somewhere inside my head I know that I'm not going to die so I can wait it out. I did read some articles online that says you can have palpitations weeks and months after the surgery and that it doesn't mean the surgery didn't work. Some people heal more slowly than others. It's hard to live a normal functioning lifestyle with this condition. I can't travel or go for walks out on the trails. I don't want to be one of the people that manages it, I want to one of the people that was cured from it. I will get there I hope.

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    • Posted

      You seem quite optimistic about the procedure.I wonder if I can ask you a question. Have you ever done an ablation? If that's the case can you tell me about it?

      My daughter was advised by eletrophysiologists  to do one. They told us about statistics and they seem quite good, however I've tried to find stories of successful ablations for svt on the net, but I only find stories of people who had bad experiences.

       

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  • Posted

    Also they had me on calan before the surgery but took me off a week before the surgery and kept me off. He was undoubtedly confident that he got them all. I was awake for the majority of the surgery as this was part of his success plan. It took about 4 hours.
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  • Posted

    I had a second successful ablation about 9 weeks ago. The first attempt was unsuccessful because an attack could not be triggered during the procedure. This time my cardiologist told me he had carried out a successful ablation and I should no longer have to take Propanalol. I was elated as you can imagine. However a few weeks later I had another SVT attack which only lasted about 5 minutes instead of several hours as it always had before. This worried me but I put it down to the healing process. Since then I've had a few more short runs but they are becoming fewer and I'm hoping they will eventually disappear. I understand it can take months for the heart to heal properly and it doesn't have to stop immediately to be a successful ablation. I'm taking notes of incidents to show my cardiologist st my next appointment but I'm getting more confident as time goes on. Hopefully you will be the same.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Mary, sounds a lot like my situation. My cardio never said anything about missing any areas and he put me through a lot to encourage the attacks. He also had some positive reviews from people with afib who came out successful in the end so I truly do believe he got all the areas, I am thinking either the heart needs more time to heal or possibly one of the areas found another path. Stubborn SVT. Ultimately I hope it's just a fluke and wanted to take another ride before retiring it's SVT duties. I hope we both get a happy ending.

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    • Posted

      hi mary. my condition is similar to yours. had ablation 5 months ago, had some weird beat like it will going to svt but cant. unfortunately 3 days ago i had 5 minutes of svt, it stopped by itself. this is worrying me. do you think the ablation is fail?and how about yours right now?do you ever have svt again after ablation?

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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle

    I had my cardio ablation 6yrs ago when I was 24. I had an extreme case of it for over 10yrs with all the normal symptoms plus they used to catch my heart rate at 200-220 beats a minute most of the time which was insane! I was very lucky, my surgery was very successful but mentally it took me a few months to get 'normal' because I used to get them daily, sometimes even a few times a day. Straight after the surgery, I guess I used to imagine the pain and sometimes just freeze and think it was coming on when in reality it wasn't. I'm not saying or assuming you've got the same thing, but I thought if I shared my experience maybe people can relate.

    For me it's been a great success although last couple of months I have had some heart flutters (I don't even know what to cal them) & shortness of breath. The heart rate isn't anywhere near what it used to be and it doesn't last for long, few minutes at the most so I am going to try meditation and yoga as I wana rule out life stresses first before I jump to conclusions.

    I had 12 different doctors over the 10yr period that thought I had everything from depression and cancer, and my favourite "you need to exercise more" until they forced me to go see a psychologist who told me I could've been doing her job and I wasn't insane & strongly recommended further medical examination. I found the answer myself on google and first time after it had my partner drive me to emergency, which I became a regular in 3-5 times a week at least before my operation.

    I'm 30 now and it's the best decision I ever made! Stay strong and head up! Hope it all works out for you smile

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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing your story. I often do the same thing where I freeze unsure if I'm about to have an episode or not, sometimes it is just a quick hot flash and then it goes away. After doing much Google research, I'm starting to wonder if I have the condition called syncope. It seems my symptoms best match except that I never pass out, I just am stuck with this lingering feeling that I'm going to faint. It last for hours. My heart beat is either too fast or too slow but I am not entirely sure if I am having palpitations or not, it isn't exactly the flip flop exploding heart race, it's more like a really fast heart rate. Other times I can't even find my pulse and last but not least I get these migraines at the top of my head. The only thing I can associate with palpitations is the hot flash and faint feeling that I use to get right before an attack, the only difference now is that I don't go onto severe palpitation mode. So far I'm not sure exactly what it is but I am guessing syncope. It only seems to subside when I lay down but unfortunately I have to lay there for a couple hours without getting up too fast. I am planning to go to ER next time I have an episode and I will call my cardio on Monday because I want to make sure it's okay or maybe it's low blood pressure or a clot. Who knows I just want to be normal again and live a normal life and be able to go places and exercise without thinking I'm going to die. Sorry to be so negative but heart arrhythmias totally suck. There starting to know me by name at the ER by now as well.

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    • Posted

      Danielle, the more I read the newer stuff you've written here, the more I think that your SVT has actually been cured and that most of your current symptoms are not directly related to it. One reason I say this is because I too have had some (only some) of the same symptoms and they were not linked to SVT.

      Around the time of a family tragedy about fifteen years ago I had what in old money was called a 'nervous breakdown' and is now termed 'acute anxiety...' something or other. I was hypersensitive to noise, and any kind of interpersonal tension or conflict in my vicinity. My nerves were on end and I often got 'the shakes' and sometimes felt like I was going to faint (something I never felt during SVT). I gradually got over it, partly with the help of benzos for a while, but mostly through having (quite selfish) strategies to avoid mental and emotional stress.

      I don't for one moment believe you have had a 'nervous breakdown' because something like that would be very obvious, but you might have more anxiety than you can cope with at the moment (including perhaps, the fear that SVT hasn't been cured).

      I'm glad to hear you're planning to contact your cardio on Monday.

      If you feel anxiety is an issue it might be an idea to talk to your GP aswell.

      Hoping for all the best for you, and do let us know how you got on. wink

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    • Posted

      Well that definitely made me feel better. I hope I am cured and while I don't believe I am having a nervous breakdown, I do suffer from severe anxiety socially and just in general. But even during my worst arrhythmia attacks my anxiety seemed like the least of my problems. You could be right though, they temporarily terminated my anxiety medication until my heart condition clears. I love google because it usually has all the answers but it also makes me think the worst like whether or not I will need a pacemaker or maybe just low blood pressure medication. For right now though something definitely doesn't feel right, the only time I feel okay is if I am just laying here in a fetal position. I might have some circulation issues to but I really hope it's not because the surgery didn't work or maybe an after condition because it worked. I hope the doctor will have an immediate diagnosis. You have certainly made me a little more optimistic though so thank you.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for checking in. I am leaving for the doctors in a little bit, waiting for my ride. I will let you know how things go when I get back. Been sick for about an hour now with a migraine at the top of my head that hurts when I touch it (it's a bit freaky and causing me much anxiety). The dizziness so far has been in spurts but feels fine if I am just laying here. Yesterday was worse as far as the fainting spells are. No palpitations or heart racing though so that's good. Scared for the worst but would really like to be relieved that this is just my heart retraining itself. I will post later tonight.

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