Flutter with 2 unsuccessful ablations, what now?

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Hi, new to this forum. Over the past 9 months I was diagnosed with atrial flutter. I'm 49. My heart rate can get up to 200 and I'm very symptomatic. I feel small flutters throughout the days and then 2 day episodes about every week. I've had 2 ablations with the last one lasting 6 hours and my EP saying that it was a very complicated procedure due to the irregular structure of the inside of my heart. News to me and to them.

My last meeting with my EP was disappointing and scarry. He didn't feel he could be any more aggressive than he already was without risking perforation to my heart. He offered to ablate the AV node and put in a pacemaker, but I can't see being dependent on that for the rest of my life. He said I was in a tough place. I'm breaking through the metoprolol and propafanon, and have tried many other's. He doesn't want to put me on anything stronger. Is there anything more I can do? Anywhere else to look for relief? Is a pacemaker really my only option? Has anyone had that done and does it work as far as getting rid of the symptoms and getting back to a normal life?

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  • Posted

    Hi Deanna, I have had an AVR valve replacement (2001)and have AtriaI Fib and Tachycardia and also recent heart failure. I am 62

    I too have had two aggressive Ablations and four Cardio versions and nothing has worked. Over the last two years a Pacemaker has often been mentioned.

    Two weeks ago I was ill again so went to my Cardiac clinic, I finally saw a Cardiologist, he said they could do another (risky) Ablation  and I said no, he then suggestd a Pacemaker and I said yes and was to have it done within the next two weeks, however I got a call saying they had a space the following day. So I had my Pacemaker fitted two weeks ago today.

    The procedure is with a local anaesthic and takes about an hour and I have felt very sore in the meantime but now my wound is almost healed

    At the moment I feel good with no trouble breathing or feeling that I can't go out and when they connect my Pacemaker to my heart (4 more weeks)I should feel even better.

    Deanna I believe having a Pacemaker will greatly improve my life and think you ought to discuss it further with your cardiologist

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  • Posted

    Deanna I meant to say I now have a quiet regular heart rhythm most of the time and when I have my heart connected to the Pacemaker it should be even beter


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    • Posted

      Hi Anna Maria, I must admit that when the Cardiologist mentioned the pacemaker I said "no" out of surprise. I am letting my nerves get the best of me. I don't feel safe with another ablation and I'm afraid that the pacemaker will not work and will be too final. But, this rapid flutter is pushing me to choose something. Perhaps I was too hasty in my reply to my EP.

      I'm glad you feel better with the pacemaker after a couple weeks of recovery. So your pacemaker isn't hooked up to your heart right away? Do you know why that is? Do they have to ablate your AV node to do it? I think I will search out another EP for a second opinion or perhaps schedule another visit with my current one to ask more questions. They are so hard to get a hold of. A quiet, regular heart beat sounds great but so out of reach. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I feel a little more focused.

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  • Posted

    Hello Deanna, where do you live? I ask because I live in London and the Cardiac services are great, I have Cardiac nurse case manager who I can call and talk to about my condition and he relates my concerns to my Cardiologist, I got my Pm because I walked into my Cardiac clinic at the hospital and said I wasn't leaving until I saw someone, I felt really unwell but didn't realise I was in heart failure. 

    I think you should try and see someone as soon as you can Deanna.

    Essentially a Pacemaker is for people with slow heartbeats.When used for AF/AT, after being fitted for six weeks they ablate the sinus node (natural heart pacemaker) so that it beats slowly thus requiring a Pacemaker and in six weeks they will konw there are no problems ie rejection of th PM

    I too was scared about another ablation and have welcomed having a pacemaker, you ought to read about them and discuss it with your Cardiologist. For you to have a pacemaker would make a quiet steady heartbeat possible

    With me, having a metal heart valve made my heartbeat very loud and sleep was often very elusive

    I'm now not scared to go out and I feel a lot better for having the PM already

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  • Posted

    Hi Deanna,

    I am pretty new to all of this, but I can tell you I know several people who have had pacemakers fitted and all say that they have changed there life for the better.

    I should seriously consider it.

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    • Posted

      Hello anna maria

      I have a very good friend who had pacemaker a few months ago, and she is now back doing the things she loves ie her garden and other things she couldn't do before.

      I am sure you will be reporting the same before too long

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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda

      Two weeks ago I couldn't walk up the road let alone do a gardening which I love. I just have to wait another four weeks for connection of my heart to the then ablated sinus node

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