Colonoscopy while in aFib

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So I am scheduled for a colonoscopy on May 11 and have been advised to stop Pradaxa 2 days prior. Problem is, I am now having daily episodes of arrhythmia (not sure if aFib) and am concerned of stroke risk while off Pradaxa.

Is it safe to be off Pradaxa 2-3 days for this procedure if arrhythmia continues? Recent episodes now last only a few hours instead of days, but I’m not sure how long clotting takes when blood thinners are stopped.

I am inclined to reschedule the colonoscopy until after my aFib/arrhythmia stabilizes and/or I begin Tikosyn to hopefully eliminate the arrhythmia.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Regards,

Patrick

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    My own personal priority is heart issues first then everything else as I can fit it in. Best of luck to you, I wish you well.
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    • Posted

      Agreed! The heart must have priority over all other issues, so I will proceed accordingly. Thanks for your reply and wishes, Eskel!
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  • Posted

    I  recently needed colonoscopy and did not want to go off my eliquis as I had just begun Tikosyn and was not sure yet that I was in rhythm for long. Wanted to wait. Dr opted to do a sigmoidoscopy rather than wait. It was a compromise at this point.  
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, Pat! How is the Tikosyn working for you? I’m feeling like I will begin Tikosyn before doing the colonoscopy. I’m curious what your cardiologist/EP advised you to do about the colonoscopy?
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    • Posted

      Hi Patrick, Tikosyn has been a real success so far. I began in the hospital in Feb. I had failed with flecainide and was in serious afib and aflutter when admitted (had been for almost 10 days). I converted to regular rhythm on first dose, and have been good since then. ( one short episode when I overexercised ). No side effects so far...though my stamina and energy are still not where I was pre diagnosis 8 mo ago.  Good luck. My doc says Tikosyn generally works if you have no side effects.
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    • Posted

      Hello again Pat, How was your hospital experience while starting the Tikosyn? Were you in 3 days and what was a typical day like? Am impressed that you converted after one dose! Did you have a cardioversion after the meds converted you? 
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  • Posted

    Hi Patrick, last year I had to have a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy and the hospital that was originally going to do it said I had to stop my warfarin but the hospital they finally sent me to said I must stay on it. The reason the first hospital was concerned was about biopsies and the worry about bleeding but the second one said they wanted me to stay on it and procedures whether top or bottom would keep bleeding to a minimum anyway. I did have biopsies taken and stayed on the warfarin to no ill effect so I was covered throughout the procedure.
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  • Posted

    I had been back in NSR for about 15 months until I had a colonoscopy when the probe stimulated my vagus nerve. I was told that dehydration from the laxatives  can also cause it.
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    • Posted

      Strangely Derek I had the procedure and a week later the AFib started up again after over a four year gap so that might explain it. I also take Senna each night so that might also not be helping.
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    • Posted

      They were doing  the colonoscopy and I was slightly sedated but felt ok watching it on the screen. On the other screen I see my BP dropping to 40/29 and heart rate 30. I think are they going to do something about this? They suddenly panic!

      .

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    • Posted

      You are supposed to get heavy sedation and a drug that makes you forget what has happened but part way through mine I shouted out in pain and I heard him say to knock me out. I never felt a thing for the gastroscopy it was the colonoscopy.
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    • Posted

      You can choose whether to be sedated or not. I just had light sedation and spoke with the doctor doing during the procedure and swore a couple of times.

      Afterwards:

      Discharge notes say:

      “Gellofusion was administered and .1ml of atropine given.  Anaesthetist was called who then administered 1L of Hartman’s solution, an extra 3 mls of atropine and 20 mg of Boscopon . 

      Patient much improved and monitored in his room for rest of day” In an NHS hospital I would be on a trolley in the corridor.Heart rate went up in the room  and by mid-afternoon after being on a drip and having tea and toast and lots of water my BP was 123/67 which made them happy. Their reasons for the big drop, dehydration after yesterday’s laxative ( was drinking a glass of water every hour and had two cans of Baxter’s consommé and large amounts of jelly. Or the sedative or that the probe stimulated nerves in my colon during the procedure. I certainly did not feel that pleasure."

      I felt OK and later walking up a slight incline I felt my heart rate increase and become erratic. Having been in AF before I knew what it was. My vagus nerve must be rather sensitive as when a urologist did a DRE (digital rectal examination) a year later my BP dropped and I went back into AF. 

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