Just a few thoughts

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Hey all, I am 25 years old and had my first episode when I was 17. I was a very active person back then, during  my high school years I trained boxing and swimming at least 4 times a week, but after several episodes I stopped these competitive sports completely, following the doctor's suggestion. Instead I started to work out at home, around half an hour every day only doing pull-ups, squats etc, barely had any episode ever since. I've noticed that in my case, as long as I stay away from vigorous exercise, I'm fine. I don't drink or smoke very often, tea or coffee don't have an effect on me. 

The other day I went to my cousin's gym and he was wrestling with another guy on the tatami, I figured I was pretty good at it back then and joined their little competition, I hadn't done it for several years. Shortly after my cousin threw me to the ground my heart started to race like crazy, I measured my HR was at 210 and that episode lasted for around 20 minutes, just like old times. I was very frustrated to realize that because of SVT how much fun I have lost being unable to participate in activities I really enjoy. The pain was mostly psychological, a feeling of helplessness. 

So I went to the cardiologist and consulted him again regarding the possibility of an ablation. I had a transesophageal atrial pacing study years ago and the doctor figured that the extra pathway is very close to His bundle, the risk of an AV block after ablation is higher than average, therefore due to the infrequency of my tachycardia, I should not consider ablation unless I started to experience more episodes in my life. This time another cardiologist told me the same, if I insisit I could have an ablation, but also in case I end up with a pacemaker there's no way I will be able to do any contact sport anymore. 

After I came home I added some rope skipping to my routine exercise, surprisingly it didn't trigger any episode even after 10 minutes when my HR was much higher than usual. I kept on doing it for the next 3 weeks, didn't experience any discomfort. I considered perhaps avoiding aerobics is unnecessary as my body can gradually adapt to it even with the extra pathway in my heart. 

Yesterday I went to the swimming pool, as I was trying to swim 25 meters in one breath, my heart went mad under water. And my HR wasn't even above 100 when I was swimming, so unpredictable.

I was told that cryoablation can reduce the risk of complications comparing with traditional RF ablation, but unfortunately my insurance company's cooperative hospital is not very experienced with cryoablation. I'm thinking of paying for the procedure at a bigger cardiovascular center, let more experienced EPs deal with it. I simply can't live a life without swimming or martial arts anymore. 

Thanks for reading 

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Danny. I must admit I hadn't heard of cryoablation until you mentioned it (although I had some warts removed using liquid nitrogen donkeys years ago and thought it pretty good)

    The 'normal' ablation that cured my SVT 5 years ago is very low risk with a high success rate. Has a Cardio specialist told you that Cryo is superior to that? If so, are there many surgeons in your region with experience of carrying it out?

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  • Posted

    Hi Danny. I had SVT for the past 20 years and it is hard living with the ticking time bomb. I had the ablation last week and hopefully it is gone. I always kept up my fitness - a bit risky on a bike which saw me hospitalised though when I had an attack. I was back on the bike within a week. I don't know about swimming but I would suggest you take a 'to hell with it' attitude to your other sports and do them. I wish you all the best. Rgds. Bob

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  • Posted

    Thanks, Danny, for such a detailed report.  I hope you'll soon be able to make a well informed decision as to an ablation. Your swimming experience, in particular, got my attention.  In my 50 years with SVT, I've noticed that when I'm snorkeling, I'm much more likely to have heart rhythm problems than with most any other exercise.  I suspect that irregular and forceful breathing have something to do with that, and the vagus nerves are probably important parts of that story.  The good news for me is that, for the past coiple of years, I've been able to stop all but one of my SVTs with that same sort of breathing.  Best of luck to you. 

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  • Posted

    I'm afraid to sneeze anymore lol. I was thinking the same I used to work out nothing crazy 20 min of fast walking but now I don't know I had a unsuccessful ablation four years ago there is s new device in clinical studies called the valgo look it up valgo for SVT I pray it comes to the US soon

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