Cardioversion

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Hi there all, I posted to Popeye and Derek a couple of weeks ago to tell them I had a cardioversion last month. I am pleased to say it was successful. I have read a few articles on the subject and realise that although most are successful the trick is to stay in sinus rhythm!! That's the tricky bit. Has anyone had a successful procedure themselves or know anyone who has? I am looking for some success stories! Thanks. 

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  • Posted

    It may depend whether the AF was paroxysmal or persistent. Secondly the medication you take and also your lifestyle.

    When I had my second cardiov there was an 81 year old who was having his first. He had paroxysmal and the cardiov was a success and 6 years later he is still in SR,

    But he does take 80mg of Sotalol a day which limits his activity levels.

    Mine was also a success but after 6 months my consultant took me of my med. (bisop) and within 1 week I was back into persistent AF

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    • Posted

      Hi Bill, I was in persistent AF. It came on suddenly last June and although I went to A and E and had amiodorone administered it still persisted. I was given bisoprolol and warfarin and the on discharge the cardiologist said he may consider cardioversion. I had the procedure on the 16th October and saw him again yesterday just for a checkup. He reduced the bisoprolol to 5mg but wanted me to stay on the warfarin. I have been looking on the web for 'support groups' of successful cardioverted but can't find any? I am quite surprised, surely there are some success stories about? All I can find are stores about people who have reverted back after a few months. I can't really understand why you came off the meds although if you were back in sinus rhythm and did not have any other underlying problems, e.g. high bp, there would be no need to be on any? Thanks for your prompt reply, are you going to have another cardioversion? Cheers. 
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  • Posted

    It's like asking how long is a piece of string.  I have had three cardioversions, none of which lasted more than a few months, plus two failed ablations, but my husband after almost ten years of permanent AFib and at the age of almost 80, had one ablation and a cardioversion and has been in strong sinus ever since (almost 8 months now) and has been taken off Warfarin altogether.  You can only try it and see if it holds which can vary from weeks to months to years to forever.  It is a case of fingers crossed.  

    As to lifestyle, everyone has different triggers for AFib and little tricks to ward it off, ie breath holding, bearing down etc and you can only try these.  Sometimes they work and sometimes not.  Some can drink alcohol and others not.  Medication which doesn't hinder your energy is great if you can tolerate it.  I can take Flecainide when I feel an attack underway.  For others it is the dreaded Bisoprolol, but then again, not everyone has the same reaction to it.  It is all very hit and miss until you discover what literally makes you tick!

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    • Posted

      Hi Josephine, Thanks for your prompt reply and info, it's appreciated. I had my cardioversion on 16th Oct, exactly 6 weeks ago today, I actually feel fine, I did see my cardiologist yesterday just for a check up and I think he was pleased, they don't really commit do they? He has kept me on 5mg bisoprolol in the mornings, I was on 10mg until Tuesday and was actually fine with it, I think it was the AF which made me fill tired and sometimes breathless. I was looking on the web for a cardioversion support group, there are many such groups out there and I do know that statistically after one year 50% of the cardioverted revert back, then after 4 years a further 25%, but in real terms there are thousands of people who get cardioverted every year and that's 25% who are still fine after the procedure, I was hoping to get in touch with one of those success stories. I do have my fingers crossed and have changed my lifestyle, 'slightly' to help ward off further AF attacks. I do love green veg and have cut down on portion size so my INR levels don't fluctuate too much. I have been reading about alternatives to warfarin which have been approved by NICE, the drawbacks are less known side effects and warfarin being tried, tested and trusted. Thanks for the info, hope you and your husband stay healthy!! Cheers, Lankylass
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    • Posted

      Just to bow out - I just couldn't tolerate Warfarin (high dose, unstable INR, hate needles etc) and I am on the new and more expensive Pradaxa (dabigatran) with no side effects for the past year which requires no monitoring- only the risks which I know about and am prepared to take.  If you can take up to 10 mg Bisoprolol without any energy zapping side effects, then believe me, you are the lucky one!  
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    • Posted

      Hi, Yes, I have read about dabigatran, it's one of four anti coagulant drugs recently passed by NICE as an alternative. They say that warfarin is cheaper and easy to administer, however, it does need monitoring. The cardiologist is writing to my GP and I will make an appointment to see him next week, I will see what he says about changing. I would have thought that having a drug that doesn't need monitoring would be cheaper in the end, not having clinics, nurses to pay for? I must say that apart from being aware of what not to eat and drink I have had no noticeable side effects from the warfarin, you can still have a glass of wine as long as you don't binge. My bp was up yesterday when it was checked so I have a feeling the GP will be told to give me something for that, I have major 'white coat syndrome' always have had, (I'm 64), so having AF since June this year has really freaked me out big time, all those A and E visits and tubes, ugh!! My 9am appointment to see the cardio coincided with heavy morning traffic, no spaces in the hospital car park, not being able to locate the clinic and walking up 3 flights of stairs, the nurse was taking my bp just after that!!! It's no wonder it was sky high!! I'll have to wait and see. Cheers. 
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