Catheter ablation post-op

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I'm super new this site and in need of some advice.

I'm 19 and had my catheter ablation for svt done in January this year. After doing some research prior to the procedure I felt completely okay with going ahead with it as people were saying they were comfortably sedated, only felt a little discomfort and felt as if it's really benefit them. The procedure was nothing like I expected to the point where it became traumatic... I was in so much pain (even after being given approx. 175ml of fentanyl), crying throughout most of the procedure and had nothing explained to me. I burst out crying in the recovery ward afterwards in pure relief it was over sad

It's now obviously been a few months since the procedure and I'm a bit concerned about the symptoms I'm having as I wasn't given/told much information about what to expect after the procedure...

More recently I've noticed (usually at work) that I become very lightheaded, sweat and/or find it harder to breathe after lifting, squatting, getting up from sitting or even sometimes walking a little faster that usual. This then stops me from what I'm doing so I can take a few moments for the symptoms to go away.

My breathing was almost always shallow and not right before the ablation but now it's gotten to a point where sometimes I have to go outsiders breathe to feel like I'm actually getting oxygen into my body... I was told by my cardiologist that this would clear up after the procedure.

Also I was told that the surgery has a very high success rate and that there's like a 2% chance of needed another ablation. I feel as if I'm in that 2% because my heart feels like it's trying to have an svt episode but it doesn't happen which makes me feel as if they've missed a spot while doing the ablation if that makes sense?

I don't know if I sound silly or not rolleyes It's just because I wasn't given much information on how long the recovery period actually is and what to expect and can't find a lot to help me... If the ablation did not completely fix the problem, I'm definitely not having another one done purely because of how traumatic it was rolleyes Maybe I'll have other options.

I hope nobody else has/has to experience what I did.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Neikinu. Really sorry to hear what you ve been through. i had an ablation two years ago and afterwards was convinced things were not as they should be. I seemed to get breathless more easily I had lots of tests in cardiology who found nothing wrong. About three months later started feeling normal again. Hope yours settles down too. Ps my svt returned so I'm one of the 2 % !! Good luck 
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    • Posted

      I think that is a good decision Neikinu. The  GP will refer you if he or she thinks it necessary. You can discuss any anxieties you may have. Also if you are on medication the GP will know possible side effects. Re assurance that everything is ok after what you have been through will help with the worries. Good luck. 
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  • Posted

    Hi. I'm male aged 57 and live in Ireland. I had my ablation nearly four years ago. For the first few months afterwards I often felt the SVT was about to start but it never actually did. My cardiologist said this is common enough and eventually goes away, which it did. I'm not sure if its some side effect of the procedure or maybe just because we SVT folk are very sensitive to heart rhythyms and jitters rolleyes. But I really wouldn't worry about that, because it'll very likely disappear of its own accord.

    My ablation procedure was a doddle compared to yours. My usual comment is that it was definitely no worse than just a single SVT episode of the same duration, and I have not had even one SVT episode since (and, apart from trying to encourage others here. have been able to forget about the whole thing). 

    I didn't get breathlessness or lightheadiness afterwards. I wonder if this might instead be due to some medication you are taking? I mention this because I was prescribed too high a dose of beta blockers once and that had me almost fainting so I had to go off them. These symptoms do not sound common to me so I'd recommend you speak to your GP or doctor about them again as soon as you can - and keep pestering the medics until you are confident you know what's going on.

    wishing you all the best

     

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    • Posted

      I'm really hoping it goes away soon. I'm not currently on any medications for anything so I'll definitely be heading to the doctors as soon as I can! Thank you for replying smile
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    • Posted

      Like the others have said there is definitely a recovery period. But you want to check your medication. I was put on Metoprolol and it caused constant dizziness and breathlessness for me. I do much better on Cardizem. Having said that I know exactly what you mean about feeling as episode is about to start. I experience that whenever I'm dehydrated or fatigued. My heart rate will accelerate quickly with minimal activity and I'll need to sit down until it recovers. Make sure you drink a lot of water and get good rest at night because fatigue and dehydration are known SVT triggers.

      Really sorry about your experience with the ablation. My surgery team explained every step of the process and when they had to wake me up kept me in the loop. They also gave me medication for pain so I really felt nothing but fatigue afterward.

      Do see your doctor. You should not be experiencing such debilitating symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Besides being given aspirin for a few days after the surgery I wasn't put on any medications but I will try my best with drinking lots of water and getting some rest. Will be going to the doctors soon.
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    • Posted

      If you aren't on heart medication you may possibly need to be. My doctor prescribed it for symptoms very similar to yours. Once I got onto the right medication I felt so much better. Dizziness can be caused by accelerated heart rate but can also be caused by other things like low blood sugar (I have hypoglycemia). If you can afford it get a blood pressure machine do so. I tested my heart rate throughout the day (even at work) every time I felt breathless, fatigued or dizzy and kept a spreadsheet which I took to the doctor with me. I also detailed what I had been doing right before the symptoms appeared e.g. climbing stairs, sitting at my desk, taking a shower, cleaning etc. Most of the time it showed an accelerated heart rate. What I found is that for me once the heart rate rose above 110 I started to experience symptoms. These days when I have symptoms (infrequent) I just take a cell phone picture of the reading and save it in my phone in case the doctor asks. The point is, keeping track of what my heart rate was doing and what I was physically doing at that time was helpful to my doctor and we were able to mostly resolve the issue.

      Just know that it may take some time, even with medication, before you start feeling normal again.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Not sure if I can help but I'll share my experience with you, Just to reassure you that you are not alone.

    I am female and was diagnosed with AVRNT, a form of SVT at age 45 after one of my scary attacks being captured on a ecg.

    At the time i was quite heavily into my running and other forms of exercise, I didn't have an svt during exercise but did suffer from bad etopic beats which made me stop during a couple of runs after becoming light headed breathless and a funny heartbeat. My more severe svt came simply from bending down. I was referred to a cardiologist who said I was a good candidate for catheter ablation, medication was not a good option for me as my blood pressure and bpm is quite low due to being fit.

    I was them put on the waiting list for the ablation, I reduced my levels of activity as I seemed to be losing my exercise tolerance which could have been due to the svt. I had my ablation in March 2015, like you I had a horrific experience with the procedure being terminated due to the location of my problem being nesr the av node, dangerous territory I believe, risk of pace maker. Unfortunately after 14 burns they only classed my ablation as partially successful. After 4 days of the procedure I felt like I was not picking up in general I felt worse, light headed, funny heart sensations, breathlessness, dizzy and a whole lot more besides that put me in hospital for 11 days. I eventually started to pick up around 5 weeks after, and started to get my life back, I can't say I felt better but felt I had more premature beats etc. Month 5 after the procedure I had a full blown svt attack, I was devastated as it confirmed my worst fears, I was then put on the dreaded medication which gave me horrible side effects, ironic I had the ablation to avoid the medication. I then proceeded to have more svt attacks and I went back to see my cardiologist who confirmed the first ablation was unsuccessful and he felt I required another procedure to see if they could sort me out, as you can imagine after my first procedure I was horrified to think I might have to go through it again. My cardiologist explained I was very technically challenging due to the location of the abnormal area and the 2nd ablation carried slightly more risk. They told me they would put me to sleep for the ablation due to the trauma of the first and would use the freezing technology which was more suitable due to the complexity of where my problem was. After much consideration I decided to go a head with the 2nd ablation, I felt like I had no choice really, the tablets made me feel ill and weren't holding my svt. I spent the next couple of months terrified building myself up to go through with the procedure.

    I had my 2nd procedure on March 10th this year, just under a year from the previous one. On the day of the ablation I was very nervous and scared, wondering if I was going to experience the same nightmare as before. I just had to hold on to the belief that the professionals knew best and would look after me. After the procedure I had the expected symtoms of having done a boxing round with a heavy weight, and tried to rest up, After approximately 8 days I felt I was turning a corner, my heart felt more settled, definately different then before, I'm 7 weeks in and have resumed some of my activities, like you I've had feelings where I think I may svt but it doesn't occur, I have premature beats or little flutters which I hope will settle, all in all I'm hopeful that things are looking brighter, it's a very scary thing to go through and the physical effects are horrible, but also the mental torture you go through and the threat day in day out also takes its toll! I truly have my fingers crossed all has worked for you, but if you are unfortunate to be in that 2%, you will get through it, trust me if I can, anyone could. Best of luck at the doctors and for the future, let's hope we're both well on the way to recovery svt free. X

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  • Posted

    I live in Tucson, Arizona in the USA. I just got newly diagnosed with SVT in July of this year with my first attack and was driven to the ER by my husband. My episode lasted for over an hour and the doctors got it under control with medicine. I went to see my PCP for a follow up and she refered me to my cardiologist. I had to have a 2D ultrasound done on my heart, and had to talk with her. She was very nice and understood my concerns I had. She advised me that I was a great candidate for the procedure and she has done over 300 of them successfully. I set up the date for the procedure which was 8/29/2017. I have had a few minor episodes in the wait time for my ablation, but nothing serious to send me to the hospital. I also had never had any type of surgery or procedures done and was nervous as hell, also thinking about my 10 year old daughter. I asked my cardiologist if I could have deep sedation so I could be asleep during the procedure. She honored my request. I am recuperating well with minor pain in the groin sights. My cardiologist told me she got the whole area carterized off and I shouldn't have any problems in the future. She also advised me on what to expect while I am recuperating. She said as my heart is healing, I should expect little flutter palpitations but not like the full attack. I have felt a little, and I am not winded. Also, if you have been sick with a cold/flu or sinuses have been acting up, you should stay away from certain medicines too. They cause your heart to palpate more like an SVT attack, full on or minor depending on how much and how often. Sudafed, NyQuil, and Benadryl will cause your heart to palpate fast. You can take Tylenol products and Mucinex products. If you're having that much problems with your cardiologist, you can request for another cardiologist and have a second opinion. If they suggest you have to get another ablation procedure done, ask for deep sedation where you can be put under to sleep. It won't be general anesthesia but it will be just under general anesthesia. That's what I had done and I hardly remember anything. All I remember was the doctors talking, and my anesthesiologist asking me if I was okay periodically. I remember them doing slight pressure here and there, but nothing painful. I hope this helps you out, especially hearing about a new person having it done. If you want, I can let you know periodically how I am doing and handling it. My uncle has AFib and takes medicine to control it. I thought I would regret it, but I know I did a wonderful thing for me and for my daughter, and wouldn't change my decision if given the choice.

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