Getting ready for AV node and pacemaker - Has anyone had one of these?

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I'm 66 and have had 3 AFIB Ablations.  Meds aren't working for me, so it has been suggested I had the AV node and pacemaker.  I also gett rapid pulse rate, but it's not always AFIB.  Getting a little nervous. Tired of being tired and not doing things like I once used to.  

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  • Posted

    I am 64 and have only just been diagnosed and I am finding it debilitating does anyone else. I used to be active
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    • Posted

      Yes I am 64 July and I find it debilitating, I was very active. When I look back it had been coming on for a couple of years but kept putting it down to work.
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  • Posted

    Hi grammar2,

    My atrial fibrillation started 15 years ago and was on and off until 2 years ago when it became persistent 24/7. It is extremely debilitating I think because the heart is not pumping oxygen through the body as it should so organs, muscles, lungs etc suffer.

    I have, in the last two years, gone through 3 cardioversions and two cryoablations, the second taking 7 hours under light sedation!

    I had this done at the end of March so am still in the 3 month blanking period, but so far so good and this morning my pulse was 62 and I am getting better sleep at night and have miles more energy.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this continues but if not I too will probably be looking at having a pacemaker fitted.

    Good luck and don't lose heart 😉

    Gwen xx

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    • Posted

      Hi derek,

      I know, I wasn't looking forward to it. The first ablation should have been the same but something went wrong and they fully anaesthetised me.

      The sedative is the same as a general anaesthetic but not as strong so although you are conscious you don't feel any pain, just a little discomfort, and you don't have any memory of the procedure after.

      My only downside was that as they were withdrawing the anaesthetic I had an overwhelming need for a pee and then nausea and sickness.

      So far though it has all been worth it and my heart has returned to sr and my cardiologist said he hopes to be reducing my medication over the next year.

      Gwen xx

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    • Posted

      I'm sure that I would have needed several pees in that time and something to eat and drink.
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    • Posted

      Food and drink were forbidden from the previous evening and even after the ablation I couldn't keep anything down until the next day, but I was on a drip for liquid.
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  • Posted

    Hey just some info on the pacemaker for ya.

    with the AV node ablation you will lose the "atrial kick" which means your cardiac output will decrease by about 20%. The rapid rate is most likely AFib with RVR (rapid ventricular response). This should be fixed with the AV node ablation. Most likely you will be implanted with a dual chamber pacemaker as that is pretty much standard nowadays. This will also allow normal atrial events to occur if you come out of afib. The ventricular lead of your pacemaker will track your normal atrial events in order to make your heart beat more natural. 

    As far as getting back to what you used to be able to do, pacemakers all have rate response which allows your heart rate to rise with activity level. Be conscious of how the rate response on your device functions. There are three different types available on the market today and differ by company.

    Accelerometer - physical movement increseas heart rate, some disadvantages are that your heart will increase if your on a horse or driving down a bumpy road.

    Minute ventilation - heart rate increases when breathing increases

    CLS - heart rate increases when the intensity of the heart contraction increases (contractility). This rate response can actually increase your heart rate when you experience mental stress as well. 

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