Should I go through with my Catheter ablation

Posted , 7 users are following.

I am 23 years old and have been having atrial fibrillation episodes for years and years, at least a decade. I have been getting more just recently as well as atrial contractions it would seem. I have had an MRI, a stress test, and a few echo's. My doctor, (Greg Feld) of UCSD has explained to me that I should get an ablation.

I used to lift heavy, relatively, and I am afraid if I get the ablation, I wont have 100% capability of my heart. I am fearing there will be long term complications or something I don't really know about that will effect me.

Can anyone tell me if its worth it? What problems occur after?

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey Justin

    Step 1 - get another opinion from another cardiologist, and do not tell him/her what the first guy said.

    Your whole problem might be related to the diet you have been with and you might be able to avoid all that stuff if you rearrange what you have been eating. It'll take time, but it might still be all you need.

    An ablation is safe and effective for those who need it, but you are way too young, unless there is something basicall off to have an ablation.


    • Posted

      I have had a different Cardiologist and a different Electrophysiologist both tell me I don't need the Ablation.

      What makes me too young? Does it shorten your life span?

      what is the reason?

    • Posted

      Ablations evidently stop afib but to me an ablation should be given to those who suffer from permanent afib, i.e., afib that is chronic and does not revert back to sinus mode, without shock therapy. Those folks with permanent afib are high risk for having strokes, since the blood is not circulating correctly and can form clots from being immobilized in various corners of the heart.  Blood needs to keep moving so it will not form a clot.

      I have no idea if ablations extend lives, but, in theory, they prevent strokes, so in that regard, they do save lives and additional problems that could arise from strokes, like paralysis, etc.

      If a second cardiologist told me not to have an ablation after one said to have one, I would not have one and get to the source of the problem. For you it may be from an intolerance to several foods you have been eating, and food intolerances can definitely cause afib episodes in susceptable people.  

      My thinking is that afib episodes that show up at might when the patient is asleep is a result of an intolerance to certain food, and episodes originate in the gut where it excites the vagus nerve to cause all hell to break out.

      I never had an afib episode when I did not have some alcohol that evening, and it did not take much - like 2 glasses of wine.  For me other things were clear triggers, but alcohol is definitely a co-factor.


  • Posted

    What type of ablation ?

    "Point to point" Ablation is very very risky....The  safer procedure is Cryo - arctic front ablation. 

    Read my first post on the "Atrial Fibrilation & Flutter" discussion

    • Posted

      What is this proceesure and how is it safer then albation?
    • Posted

      Cryo ablation also has the name "Arctic front Ablation" its a freezing technique rather than the heat/burning of the point to point.

      With the freezing method the surgeon only has to touch the begining of the area to ablated,ie, just one point of the pulmonary vein & the freezing travels right the way along ablating it, where as with the heat / burning catheter they have to work their way through every area ablating as they go along, hence the name "Point to Point", this is what makes it more dangerous, one slip & it could be curtains, that is why they use General Anaethetic in this procedure to make sure you remain very still during

      the ablation.

      They will not tell you that one of the complications [a tear in the heart wall] could lead to open heart bypass surgery to repair any damage done.

      I most certainly would not go down that route again, it nearly cost me my life

  • Posted

    I was 40 when I first had Af , I was not offered an ablation until 10 years later as it took this long for them to actually catch it and record it . I have PAF so it was difficlt to catch , it was only caught when it got worse.  The first alblation lasted me for 5 years before it came back , I had another one that did not work , and I am currently waiting for the third one.  like some say on here it can be related to food triggers ,  I can not eat chocolate , drink normal tea , anything that contains caffine is out for me . I cant drink alcohol either , and if I am stressed , then it shows with AF that night or the next day , 

    Not sure if you have cut out caffine , but before you decide on an ablation , try this first , get a second opinion , I am not aware of ablation shortening life , its made mine better as it got to a point I could not life my life I was just existing .  I am totally exausted everytime I get an attack

    • Posted

      I am at this point of not having a life because I am exausted and afraid of getting worst.  I am being told I need the albation because I am in A flutters constantly.  I hope I will be ok
  • Posted

    Hi Justingrugar. 

    I hae recently seen an EP to discuss having an ablation. The following are the stats he told me.

    There is a 1in200 chance of me dying from the procedure, a1 in 200 chance of me having a stroke and the same risk for having a bleed.  He said ablation does not prolong life it is used to try and control symptoms in people that have no quality of life due to AF. I  decided not to have the procedure at this time. I wanted to research 

  • Posted

    Sorry got cut off Justin. As previously stated I wanted to research other options first. I have changed my diet, don't touch caffeine cold drinks,  or alcohol, avoid eating late at night and eat small portions. I find sleeping on my left side brings it on so avoid that as well, also trying to loose weight which my EP said is one of the best ways to cut down attacks and try where possible to avoid getting stressed. Controlling blood pressure is really important also. Hope this has been of help for you. Good luck.
  • Posted

    why ablation and not mini maze procedure?  I have had problems with AF for almost 20 years and now its becoming difficult to live a quality life due to its pervasivness. What I have read about the 'Mini Maze' procedure makes very good sense to me, it works very well and gets rid of the stroke issue by removing the appendage that strokes arise from. I hate not having energy anymore, and the side effects and problems with all the drugs necessary just to mask the symptoms. I prefer the problem be removed not just the symptoms. Thoughts anyone?????
  • Posted

    Mini Maze Procedure Risks

    Home | Can Afib Be Cured? | Mini Maze Surgical Ablation | Mini Maze Procedure Risks

    The blood clots and strokes that are occassional complications with catheter ablation are rarely found in the mini maze procedure as no catheters are involved. And since the surgeon uses a thoracoscope to see the heart directly, there may be less risk of obstructing the pulmonary veins (pulmonary vein stenosis).

    However, any procedure dealing with the heart has risks. While we rarely see any of the following, the risks of a mini maze procedure do include:

    Collapsed lung from deflating the lung in surgery, which is correctable with a chest tube

    Vein inflammation (phlebitis)

    Heart tissue inflammation (pericarditis)

    Blood vessel or heart damage


    In most studies reviewed, there are minimal complications, though in one study there was one death very early on due to tearing of the left atrial appendage.1

    Research has also shown that there is some risk of blood clots and a stroke following surgery if the left atrial appendage is not completely removed or sealed off. To learn more, see Left Atrial Appendage Removal May Not Always Prevent Stroke.

    If you want to know if you are a candidate for a mini maze procedure, see Are You a Candidate for Mini Maze Surgery?.


    This Maze surgery sounds just as Risky as Point to Point Catheter Ablation.,

    Definately Not for me

  • Posted

    I am hoping someone is on here to help me figure out what to do. I have heart disease, had some MI's in the past, have a RBBB among other issues, 4 stents and a long history of AF and SVT. Recently af few(6) months at least my arrythmias have been messing with my quality of life big time. My rates vary between 150 to 199 bpm, quite often. The dr started me on Xarelto, (took me off the Plavix I had been on for decade) and took my metropolol from 12.5mg in pm to 50mg. (25 x 2 p/day). I react to many drugs, hyper sensitive. I have been on new rug regimen about a month. I am reacting now to the Xarelto with GI issues, horrid fatigue, racing heart, weakness, muscles, bleeding in stools, dizziness. I have spent most of past 2 days in bed. This morning bowels full of blood let loose just standing up. Do I risk stroke, (supposedly per MRI recently) I have already had 2 strokes, min damage and a lot of diffuse small white matter vessel disease showing up. If I just stop am I risking larger stroke? If I take it am I risking more bleeding, possibly major? What do I do?
    • Posted

      You will be risking a stroke if you stop. Sounds like your INR is too low.  Talk with your doc about Warfarin - easlier to control the effects.  Yes there are restriction; but worth it in the long run.  

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