PAF following keyhole surgery

Posted , 4 users are following.

Has anyone else started with PAF following or during keyhole surgery?

Mine started whilst having my Gall Bladder removed and I have heard that there is a link between PAF and the Vagus Nerve which is in the area that would be involved. Thankfully I am well controlled on medication but wondered if this could have been a possible cause as I had never suffered with any heart problem prior to this.

0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    I went into AF when having a colonoscopy as the probe stimulated my vagus nerve.
    • Posted

      Have you had further attacks since the procedure? Think I now have to take medication indefinitely.
  • Posted

    AF triggered by surgery is not uncommon. A friend of mine had no AF before surgery on an aneurysm but did afterwards.

    As a PAF on no medication I'd be interested to know what works for you.

    • Posted

      My first AF started after my Aortic Valve was replaced. None of my extensive pre op research had found this but I was told that 'The heart does not like being handled' It seems to happen to over half of the patients. Many go back into sinus rhythm on their own others with the help of drugs. It took two cardioversions to right mine until I had the colonoscopy fifteen months later.


    • Posted

      I am on Flecainide 50mg three times a day to control the rhythm and have only had one episode needing a hospital visit in the last three years. I was not able to tolerate Beta Blockers and had further attacks when the strength was reduced so was put on to Flecainide by the Cardiologist.

      Recently I have also been prescribed Dabigatran to thin my blood.

      I avoid caffeine and find I can't drink alcohol as it makes me dizzy and gives me a headache even with a small amount. Apart from that I carry on as normal.

  • Posted

    Hi Croley,

    It is quite common for AF to be triggered while having surgery. I went into AF while having keyhole surgery on my shoulder while my uncle went into AF following a heart surgery procedure. I've heard all different reasons for this: Vagus Nerve, the effects of the anisthetic drugs on the heart, the effects of enforced unconsciousness etc. I dont know if anyone is certain as to why it happens, but I'd also love to see an explanation.

    • Posted

      I had AF after heart valve surgery but it is quite common then. They said it was because the heart doesn't like beig handled. I got it again when having a colonoscopy last year and that was put put down to stimulation of the vagus nerve. Actually it is greater stimlation of the vagus nerve that puts the heart back into sinus rhythm during cardioversion.

      I had my annual follow up echocardiogram today and mentioned the colonoscopy episode to the person doing it. She said many people having operations go into AF. During the colonoscopy my BP and heart rate had dropped dangerously low. Whether that was due to the vagus nerve I don't know. 

      When I had an operation in 2005 I asked the Gas Man later if everything had gone well. He said that my heart rate had gone very low and he had to give me something to speed it up.

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