Contemplating ablation

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Hi everyone

Ihave read severalblogs on this forumparticularly the onestarted by Alanand Ivery much appreciate everybody'sinputand feedback. while my a fib started very sporadically I now have a daily occurrence of it. I have been prescribed beta blockers and anti- rhythmic medication but I am trying to get off the beta blockers because I just don't like how they slow my heart rate down so much that I can not do exercise after taking them so I am trying to focus on the antiarrhythmic medication. I have spoken to a cardiologist who is very experienced in the ablation procedure. he thinks that I am a good candidate for it. I have reservations about the procedure but I'm also very tired of dealing with the medication. I know a friend of mine who have the ablation and it took to surgeries before it was successful and she is now extremely happy with the results. she is not had a field for two years or so end is not on any medication. I would love to hear from you any feedback would be very helpful.

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  • Posted

    I had my ablation 2 months ago, so far it has worked but will only know for sure next month when I will wear a portable heart monitor for a few days. I did it because I think it will have a longer and more healthy life. If you do it the side effects I had where I took on about 10 kg of fluids which disappeared quite quickly and I had quite a brewse they made it's way down my leg over some weeks.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I certainly hope you have long last benefits from the ablation. Please keep me (us) posted on your recovery. I was wondering if you are still on medication?
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    • Posted

      Yes, the same as before the ablasion: Xarelto, Nebilet and Codarone. I have been monitoring my heart rate with a fit bit. So before the abation my heart rate while asleep was 67 now it is 55. I guess if all is oke next month I will come off these drugs. There was one more side effect, between my knee and my ankle it is numb. My GP said that this is the result of a pintched nerve. It's slowly getting better...

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    • Posted

      Wow, thanks for the reply, its sounds like things are going well with you. Please keep me posted about the medication if it changes or is discontinued.
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  • Posted

    Hi Marilyn,

    I have commented several times on this subject and actually described the whole procedure from start to finish the whole procedure for an abliation for atrial flutter. Which was carried out successfuly inNov 2014 in Brighton, East Sussex, UK. I had it does without any sedation the first time that they had ever done this. Some times it works the first time and some times it can take up to 3 / 4 goes.

    Atrial flutter takes around 1 hour to complete and atrial fibulation around 4 hours.

    Good luck in what ever you decide.

    Ken.

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much Ken. After all this reading, I have a much better idea of the mechanics of the ablation procedure. I guess the question for me is do I continue with the meds and their side effects for perhaps the rest of my life or have an ablation that doesn't guarantee but offers pretty good odds that Afib will be eliminated. I also understand that at in 30% of the cases more than one ablation procedure may be necessary. I'm kinda on the edge. In addition, I'm wondering that in contrast to allopathic (Western based) medicine whether anyone has tried a homeopathic approach?

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  • Posted

    Hi Marilyn, went into Afib 3 times in six weeks earlier this year and had to be cardioverted each time. Opted for an ablation April 20 this year. At my 3 month follow up wore a halter montiter for 4 days; it detected no afib, but I also have an implanted loop recorder in my chest to monitor my heart (this is because I am part of a research study here in Australia). At the my 3 month follow up, my cardiologist informed me that I had a 3 hr episode of Afib about two weeks after the ablation that self corrected; I never noticed it, which is normal for me(I seem to be fairly asymptomatic and often not able to notice when I'm in AF). 

    Given that this happened in the 3 month post-op 'blanking' period, he was not at all concerned about it.

    I take Perindopril and Apixaban at th moment, but the the plan is to stop both of these meds if I'm still Afib free at the six month mark. Getting off meds will depend on your CHADS score (which evaluates your risk of stroke).

    Adressing Afib risk factors has a big influence on success rates of ablation procedures and for some people can even negate the need for an ablation.

    That said, about 30% of people require a second ablation.

    Also, Really important to make sure you have a very experienced and highly skilled Electrophysiologist doing the procedure, so do your your homework on this(sounds like you have).

    My life Electrophysiologist claims to have an 85% success rate at the five year mark PROVIDED (and he repeated and emphasised this word) provided you address your risk factors. Otherwise he said it can be as low as 15%!!

    So addressing Afib risk factors can have a big impact. 

    There's quite a bit of info on the Internet to this effect (I can point you towards if if needed).

    Hope this helps with your decision.

    Kind regards, 

    Simon??

     

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    • Posted

      thank you so much Simon, very much appreciated. I'd love to hear how things go with you over the next several months.

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    • Posted

      Hi Simon, I also am in Australia and had my 2nd Ablation 1 week ago so still in recovery mode. My first one was 2 years ago with no problems that I was aware of till 2 weeks ago when that feeling just crept up on me but this time went straight to hospital and had the Ablation after 3 days. I had the episodes for 4 years the first time around but as my heart check was fine just put up with it till I had a bad turn shopping and the Dr sent me straight to hospital in the ambulance where I was told I would have my first Ablation. Like you under twilight which was pretty nerve racking but must say my cardio guy was super and really don't remember it at all. Lots of people go back for 2nds...because we enjoyed it so much the first time Ha Ha!! I just have to get my head around the  process this time round but time is the best healer. See my cardio in a few weeks and have started a list of questions! Being on here lets me know that I am not alone with this and that is some comfort for me. Hope everyone on here gets some relief from this weird thing that takes over your life. Thanks for posting. Myra

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  • Posted

    I had my cryo ablation in 3/2016.  The worst thing about the operation was the stress leading up to it.  I was so afraid.  As it turned out, the surgery was a piece of cake for me.  Just make sure you have an electrophysiologist who has done many of these operations.

    I still do not know how successful my ablation was, and I do not know if I will do it again, but what I can say is that I am happy I did it because my goal was to get of the medications I was being given.  I'm down to two meds - the beta blocker and the blood thinner.  I'm hoping to get off the beta blocker because my heart rate is too low.  Because of my age and other risk factors, I will be on the blood thinner the rest of my life but I have accepted that.

    Just know that the operation is not as bad as you would think -- it's just the stress leading up to it.

    I was told there was a 70-80% chance of success.  As you can see from this forum,some people have had success the first time and others have had to have a second (and sometimes a third) surgery.  Everyone is different.  If you are otherwise healthy and young, I would certainly go fot it.  Good Luck! Keep us posted.

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    • Posted

      Suzanne, thanks so much, everything you said about the the success of the operation  is consistent with what I've read. It sounds like your ablation went well and hopefully you will get to a point soon when you can get off the medications, certainly the beta blockers. I've had the same results with beta blockers as it reduces my heart rate so low that I cannot really exercise or do even semi-strenuous activities. I've been trying  to avoid the beta blockers and focus on the anti-rythmic medication. I've been doing this for a few weeks with some success, but I will contine for awhile. But ulitmately I so wish to rid of these medication completely. It might take an ablation, we'll see.

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    • Posted

      Marilyn, I was on an antirythmic pill and had terrible side affects and it was not keeping my heart in rhthym (even after my ablation). Once I got off that pill, I finally started to feel like myself again for the first time in 9 months. I will not go back on it again.  

      My next step is to reduce my beta blocker more and ultimately get off it completely. 

      Suzanne

       

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  • Posted

    No one suggested a pill in the pocket strategy with Flecainide or even daily flecainide? Suggest you discuss with cardiologist. Should give you some relief.
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    • Posted

      My afib started a couple of years ago, it was one episode early in the morning, scared the h... out of me, I had no idea what was happening as i was physically active and no previous heart issues. I thought it might have been instigated by too much red wine consumption the night before. After that, I would have episodes every few months. I did not see a doctor as I thought I could figure out what caused episodes. Was it alcohol, mineral imbalance, dyhydration, etc., I developed several theories. It was when the episodes became frequent that I decided to see my physician. He had me do a treadmill stress test, the results showed no physical problems with my heart. Then i wore a heart monitor for a week, and it was confirmed I had Afib. My cardiologist prescribed Diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker and Propafenone, an antiarrhythmic. I was to take the Diltiazem first upon first signs of symptoms, then the Propafenone an hour later. These were my 'pills in a pocket'. These seemed to 'work'. My episodes would usually disappear after several minutes but sometimes it would take an hour or two. The biggest problem was that my episodes would most often occur in the middle of night, so taking the pills adversely affected my sleep. In addition, I realized that it was probably the Diltiazem that was causing constipation. My stools became almost rock solid. Geez.  My cardiologist switched me from Diltiazem to Metoprolol, a beta blocker. I found that sometimes that the Metoprolol could sometimes stop the Afib by slowing my heart rate down. But the side effect was that my heart rate would slow so much that I could not do any exercise or any physical effort. I discussed this with my cardiologist and he suggest that I just stick with the Propafenone but take it 3 times a day. That is where I am today. I still get Afib mostly at night after dinner, but occaionally when i wake up, and sometimes during the day. Typically, i will have Afib only once a day, and after the medication it will go away within an hour but sometimes a couple of hours. I, like many of you who take the medication want to get off of them completely, and it seems like ablation is the only possible hope for that to happen. I'm currently in that decision phase. My cardiologist thinks I'm a good candidate for it. My plan is stay on this medication regime for a few more weeks and then make a decision about ablation.

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