Husband in permanent afib, is cardioversion worthwhile?

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My husband started with afib back in September. Turned out it was due to a leaking mitral valve which he has since had repaired. The doctor wants him to try cardioversion, but from what I've been reading, the odds of this working for someone who has been in permanent afib for this long aren't great, although the cardiologist quoted us odds of 60% success rate? My husband isn't very keen to have it done, and is thinking that he would prefer to cut his losses and just stay on metoprolol. Due to his age, results of his angiogram and lifestyle he isn't required to go on to Dabigatran as his chances of having a stroke are so low. 

He's feeling pretty rough on the Amiodarone and Dabigatran,  but has to stay on these until 4 weeks after the cardioversion if he has it done. Has anyone here had a cardioversion done after being in permanent afib for this long which has worked first time? 

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  • Posted

    I use to take metoprolol (which controls the rate). After my ablations my rate wasn't so dangerously high only 250 when going into afib and did not really help with the afib. I've been on amiodarone (controls your rythem) almost 4 months now and was told I'll be a lifer but it is helping. I still have some issues with afib and other things but it's not affecting physically like it was prior to amiodarone. before taking amiodarone I was passing out from the afib and could not function physically. They are trying to keep me from needing a pace maker this early in my life. I've had 2 cardio versions and they are only a measure to snap your heart out of the bad rythem and there is no telling when the afib will return. However being in afib constantly is not good. I hope your husband is on a blood thinner to prevent stroke.

    Cardio versions are not a bad thing and if I were him I would give it a go. The amiodarone? Hmmm well I've been on it for 4 months and while it is helping I'm also experiencing issues with my vision as my eyesight seems worse, and my co-ordination seems off but if he's not expected to be on it long I don't know what his issues might be from it if any. I'm told it takes almost 4- 5 weeks to get into the system and almost twice as long to come out. However as with any med it's going to have a different effect on everyone.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, yes trying to weigh up whether to have the cardioversion is difficult as it seems so often to ony have a temporary effect, before the person goes back into afib. Not sure whether its worth staying on amiodarone and suffering the side effects or whether to just put up with the afib and keep taking the meoprolol. Huisband is on dabigatran but only as a prelude to having the cardioversion. The cardiologist says he doesnt need a blood thinner other wise as his CHADS2 score is low. 
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    • Posted

      Amiodarone hastened my need for cataract surgery. I was told that I would not need them doing for at least another six years. The year after having been on amiodarone for about six months I was told that it was then needed much sooner.
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  • Posted

    Hi, amiodarone worked for me once but when Afib came back I had a DC cardioversion, which worked.  I'm glad I'm off the amiodarone....the dreams are awful and I got sunburn due to the side effects.  It's not for me so I am happy I went for DC cardioversion.  That held me in sinus for 9 months (and no drinking alcohol) until I had an ablation.    I would look at it - if it works it could open up the treatment plan a bit.....

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