Just got ablation date and I'm terrified and having doubts! Please help

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi all,

After a year since being referred, I just got an ablation date for next month. I have to go Bristol from Southampton because that's where I was originally referred before moving.

Anyway I am genuinely terrified. I thought I wanted to have the ablation but now I'm having doubts. I've had SVT for years and it's been up and down in terms of frequency. It hasn't stopped me doing anything but I have had some episodes in really inconvenient places (Vietnamese jungle) though they've always reverted by themselves. The worst one I ever had was when I travelled to Canada, it lasted for an hour and I was really scared but it did stop eventually. That was the one that prompted me to seek treatment. They are rare at the moment (I can go months without having one and currently only have a few in a year) but I used to travel a lot before the pandemic and was always terrified of getting an episode on a plane or somewhere where I can't access medical care easily.

I am terrified of the actual procedure though. How bad is it? I am really, really bad with medical things, I faint when I have blood taken and I couldn't even have a wisdom tooth removed without sedatives. The fact that you're awake for the ablation terrifies me. Does it hurt? Do you feel it? How do you keep still for so long? What if I move while they have the wires in and it damages something? What if I completely freak out?

And what about the recovery - is it bad? Is there a chance ablation could make things worse? People say they get weird rhythms afterwards... I'm terrified of the potential complications too (especially needing a pacemaker as I am an otherwise healthy 33 year old).

Can anyone weigh in on this and share their experience of the ablation? One thing I'm thinking is that apparently SVT tends to get worse with age (so I've heard) so if I don't have the ablation now then I may end up needing it later in life anyway... I am really confused and scared at the moment 😦

0 likes, 5 replies

5 Replies

  • Edited

    I can't speak in terms of ablation, but wow, your story sounds very similar to mine! I have had SVT since birth (I am now 30), and the episodes have been of varying frequencies over the years. I have had several long-lasting episodes (such as while hiking or traveling), but they did eventually revert without treatment. Over the past few years, my episodes have also become more frequent (usually don't go more than 2-4 weeks without one vs. going months or up to a year between episodes before). After seeing a cardiologist for the first time in more than 11 years, I was recently referred to an EP for ablation. Like you, I was excited to finally have the option of an ablation. The regular cardiologist strongly recommended doing it "while you're young," but the EP who would have been doing the procedure actually advised against it for me due to the risks outweighing the benefits (though I was also told that it can worsen as you age). It is something I am still considering, so I would like to hear other people's experiences as well.

    • Posted

      Thanks for commenting and that's really interesting to hear. Do you know why the EP advised against it? I'm really scared but equally I know that if I don't have it done then I will have to live with it for the rest of my life, always worrying about when it will happen again... Not a particularly appealing process. On the other hand I can go months without it happening. Tiredness seems to be the main trigger for me and that's hard to avoid with full time job, travel etc. It's frustrating even my pre op assessment is now on the phone as I would love to actually speak with someone face to face!

    • Posted

      I hear you! I've learned to live with it, but I do agree that it feels like the next episode is always hanging over your head. Lack of sleep has also occasionally been a trigger for me as well.

      The EP basically said that the ablation could cause heart block (if too much is ablated beyond the abnormal areas), and since I am able to manage it and don't have terrible symptoms, it wouldn't be worth the risk of that. Once again, I was reassured that SVT is non-life threatening, so that was something else to consider (as annoying as it is). The option is still there if I choose to have it done, but he would not strongly encourage me to do it. Needless to say, I have been feeling unsure about how to proceed.

  • Posted

    this is my story to the tee! im tired of worrying about having another episode. im ready to snow ski, travel, mtn bike etc. I am scheduled for 1/10/22!

    • Posted

      I just recently discovered this thread after having issues with SVT for years. When I spoke with a cardiologist they said I can choose to have an ablation or not. Will you please update when you've had your procedure? I'd love to hear some firsthand experience.

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