SVT Ablation. Concerns about procedure, post procedure and risks.

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Hello, I am a 23 year old female. I have had issues with a fast heart rate at times in my life where my heart rate can get all the way to about 198 beats a minute at a time. This started when I was about 14 or 15 and would occur once or twice a month. When I became pregnant with my daughter, I would have about 4 or 5 episodes a day. At this point it still was not clear what was going on. After giving birth to my daughter, I went to see a Cardiologist and was diagnosed with SVT. They had me try motoporol (sp) and after about a month or so I stopped that as I was still having episodes once or twice a month. For a while I have just dealt with it but lately it's been effecting my life, and I am having some I feel and others I do not, long story short about 3 or so a week maybe 2 or 3 a month average. I at one point was completely opposed to an Ablation but after having dealt with suffer if you will I would like to have it gone forever. I am going to have the ablation done and I am wonder what to expect. Will I have to stay over night? Will I be put to sleep? Will I be in alot of pain after? What will they do as far as the procedure? And can I resume my work the next day as I am a day care staff member in the infant room? Thank you for your advice in advance!

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  • Posted

    Hi Brianna

    I had SVT for 13 years with episodes happening at least twice a month in the end with a heart rate of 240 on average - I know how you feel!

    I had the ablation 18 months ago and I've had no SVT since.

    Like you I was really against the ablation or meds, but as I work in the NHS all of my clinical colleagues kept telling me I should get it fixed for good, which I did.

    I'm 43, otherwise fit and well, but it was starting to effect my life. I was constantly worried about when it would start, where it would start, could I stop it etc.

    The procedure is simple. You're put in a gown, walked into the Cath Lab and offered a sedative. This is like having a triple Jack Daniels, it just takes the edge off your nerves if you want it.

    They put a shot of local in your leg and insert a cathater. Into that that put 4 small thin wires up into your heart. None of this hurts, it's just a bit odd!

    They basically then trigger your heart into an SVT using the wires or an injection, find the electrical problem and zap it.

    I was in an hour and a half, I felt no pain at all, the team were fantastic, but I was kept in over night as I was last on the list and you need to recover for a few hours.

    I went back to work 5 days later, this is an average I would say.

    It makes you very tired for a few days, going up strairs is like running a marathon, but that goes.

    I understand your worry, but honestly it's the best thing I've ever done, the procedure is strange as you have an odd sensation with the wires in, but no pain at all.

    I would take a couple of days off though if you're able.

    Good luck, it's such an amazing feeling once it's done!

    I hope this has helped.


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  • Posted

    Hi bianna

    my ablation went as follows 

    I was awake during the op with a mild sedation but was aware of what they were doing  they injected the top of my groin to numb the skin then they inserted a few wires etc through my artery to my heart you can feel it but it's not painfull just a bit uncomfortable they then altered my heart beat up and down untill it went into svt they then froze the parts that were causing the svt my heart went back into a normal rythm ,it took around 3hours 

    i then had to lay on my back for about 3 hours to let the groin incision heal 

    I stopped in over night then went back to work a few days later taking it easy 

    the op worked but I still get the odd extra heart beat and skipping ,

    after meals or alcohol or both my heart rate goes up and I can feel it thumping a little , so yes the ablation worked because I don't get the full svts 

    and I'm glad I don't have to take the sotalol any more if I was you I would have it done now and not leave it for 25 years like I did !


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  • Posted

    Hi Brianna,

    I had an Ablation last year and gave all the details on this site. Mine was for Atrial Flutter there is also Atrial Fibulation, Both similiar but different.

    I volunteered for a cardiac trial which I consider as a Free MOT.

    I had had nothing to tell me that something was wrong, no pains nothing, so it was good that I went.

    The next day I get a call telling me the news, I was quite shocked.

    You will have to go on Warfarin which is a blood thinner to get your INR blood level to between 2.5 - 3 at first at your local hospital and then at your local chemist that does the test.

    Around 9 months to a year you will have your ablation. I went in at 7am they did several tests and afterwards the surgeon came and saw me, he asked do you know what we are going to do and to his surprise I talked him through the whole procedure, I then said that I dont want any sedation, of which he said he had never done one without, he agreed and I agreed to have a canular fitted just in case the pain was to much. at 11 am I walked to the lift and went up one floor in Royal Sussex County Hospital.

    I laid on a sort of table and felt them rubbing something into my right side of my groin presumably to numb the area, then I felt a lot of pushing as they inserted through my artery I believe tubee and then an electrode right up to my heart, no pain at this stage.

    They then gave me three sessions of electic shocks to burn of the cells that was causing the problem, each session lasted a minute or two the first one was fine but the second one was very painfull and I have a very strong threshold for pain, the third one went fine and the surgeon said we have checked every thing and it all seems fine, they then dreesed my groin with a 6" square clear plastic dressing which I had to keep on for a week. The whole procedure lasted an hour.

    I was wheeled back to the ward and told I had to wait for four hours to check I don't have a bleed.

    I was comfortable and had Tea and a sandwich, I was let home just 3 hours later and rested just for that day and every think has been fine since.

    If you are going to have the ablation for Atrila Fibulation then this is a much longer procedure and can take up to four hours, as you have to keep perfectly still for this one they either well sedate so you are out of it or give you a general Anaesthetic.

    I hope all this info helps but try not to worry and I hope all goes well.

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  • Posted

    Hi Brianna,  I agree with all that has been said on this but do be aware that ablation isn't always possible during the procedure.  I have been having SVT attacks for about 20 years, they occur on average about twice a month and a few months ago I went through an attempted ablation.  [u]U[/u]nfortunately it wasn't possible to trigger an attack during the procedure and, although I went through the whole thing and they did speed my heart up with drugs, I came out of it no better off than before.  It was a real disappointment for me as I had been worried about it too and made myself go though it because I thought it would solve my problem for good.  Hopefully this won't happen to you but you should be aware of the possibility.
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  • Posted


    I had SVT for about 15 years until it got so bad (because of chemo and IV steroids) that I had to have an ablation done almost four years ago. One of the best things that ever happened to me because I went from having about half a dozen SVT episodes a day to none whatsoever since. I not longer feel a prisoner and can just get on and do stuff rather than worrying about the next attack.

    Everyone else here has described the procedure very well. The only thing I can add is that in my case the sedatives and local anaesthetic hardly worked at all (I'm very resistant to them and sleeping tablets) but despite that it was not painful, just a little weird and uncomfortable, and was over pretty quickly, probably in and out of theatre in about half an hour.

    The sedatives and local will work for you so it'll be a breeze.wink

    I only wish I had the ablation done years earlier!

    I'd imagine you'd be fine to work the next day but, because of your job and normal post-op caution, they won't let you. Just enjoy the day off.

    Best of luck with it and come back to let us know how you got on. 


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