What if my partner does not have the ablation and does nothing

My partner is due to have his ablation next month. However, having read all your questions and blogs, he does not seem to be having appreciable negative effects on his lifestyle, as some of you have described.

He is in permanent AF but no longer has symptoms or feels out of breath or faint. He is taking Bisoprodol and has just started on Rivaroxaban (which this morning has given him the first nosebleed in his life!) in preparation for the ablation..

We just don't know what to do for the best. Will the ablation, if it works, set him up for a drug free rest of his life (he is only in his mid fifties)? Could it make things worse? If he doesn't have it now, will it be too late in the future? We have explored the other drugs but he was on amiodarone for too long and the other options don't suit him. I don't want to influence him or put any pressure on him but I want him to make the best decision for his future. I know you cant decide for us but members'' views would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

JayEm

7 Replies

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  • JayEm

    One thing I ask my EP is if AF was progressive and it is. There is a possibility that as time goes on he will need the ablation or more and more meds. I opted to get the ablation 2 months ago. I am 41 and praying I have a lot of years let in me so I did it. It was the best decision for me. The procedure was 3 hrs long and I had NO pain afterwards. Everyone is different but he can't ignore it. He could have a stroke. I wish you both the best of luck and will be praying for y'all. Hang in there!!!

  • Hi Jayem

    I might be in a similar position, I have permament AF but no real other symptoms, and the cardio has recently told me to effectively sort out the lifestyle first as see what happens (weight and more exercise mainly)

    However if I were fittish, mid 50's (I am late 50s) and with permament AF I would have an ablation tomorrow, my AF will not cure itself, it will probably only get worse and my personal view would be to go for the ablation.

    Good luck with your decision, and do let us know how he gets on

    Ian

  • Hi, JayEM

    I have had AF for about 4/5 years now and had my first Ablation just over a year ago my procedure lasted about 2 hours very little pain during and after, the only discomfort I had was lying still for four hours after the Ablation. I was AF free for about 8 weeks then it started again

    perhaps once a week at first now its daily. I am due to have my 2nd Ablation this Friday I have been told there is an 80 % success rate this time. My wife was the same as you she did not want to put any pressure on me and never has was brilliant in my recovery. Everyone is different and I have no hesitation in agreeing to the 2nd Ablation I would love to be drug free no more side effects. Good luck to both of you

  • I also don't suffer as much as some I swim,and don't get our of breath and was to thinking of just taking warfarin,candisarten & bisopolfurmate and just carrying on,after all no one wants their heart messed with but I believe further down the road it would need the procedure any way so I went for getting it done.All booked in and going in the morning

    @ 8:00am concerned but resided to the fact it needs doing.Until A couple of hours ago when the call cancelling my procedure came doh!!! Ah well a week off work I guess,and now I'm really gutted instead of really nervous...These things happen :-)

  • I'm 54, in permanent AF and also suffer virtually no symptoms - I only notice it when climbing hills on my cycle and I run out of puff a lot quicker. I have concentrated on losing a bit of weight and getting fitter, and do not intend to have an ablation.

    A big difference for me though is that I also do not need to take any drugs (because of my low risk factors and reasonable heart rate). If I did and I had only just become a permie (the longer it goes on for the less chance of success with ablations) I would probably go for it.

  • I had AF for around 20 years which by and large went undiagnosed. In my late 40's and early 50's it got progressively worse and when it was correctly (and accidentally) diagnosed I started on various strengths of beta blockers, flecainide, and aspirin . The drugs didn't work that well and I got to a point where AF ruled my life to an extent that I couldn't plan anything without having to consider a contingency plan should a get a bout of AF. My attacks would be debilitatingl and last for long periods.

    It was my consultant who suggested ablation to me and I jumped at the chance. The procedure was a little uncomfortable, like having bad heartburn, and when complete I still had mild symptoms for 2/3 weeks. Suddenly though they stopped and I can't tell you how much better my life has become! I am completely symptom free and Have been off the drugs for the last two months (having had the procedure in February ). I would recommend it to anyone!

  • Hi, most of the posts above say that the drugs don't work and this is my experience having had flutter, AF and just plain atrial tachycardia for ten years. I'm only 46 years old. At various times I've taken combinations of fleccanide, bisoprolol, ameioderone and dronoderone (please excuse the spelling) plus one other that I can't recall the name of and warfarin. Simply, I wish I had had my ablations earlier as the AF just got progressively worse and the lighter drugs just didn't control it, I was only given the more aggressive drugs once it was too late and the side effects of those concerned me more than my heart rhythm. I've had eight ablations, three cardio versions and now have a pacemaker which kicks in if I go below 50 bpm. Several of my ablations lasted 5 hours long. I'm now in sinus and drug free apart from precautionary warfarin and I am regularly cycling, using a rowing machine and walking my dogs. If my AF comes back I will not hesitate to have another ablation as soon as I can. Given the benefits the ablation is only mildly uncomfortable and the overall risks are relatively low. I've never been in any real pain after an ablation and even once I went into the Catheter Lab laughing hysterically after one of the characters on the ward gave me quite a send off, that left the nurses questioning my sanity. My advice is have the ablation I don't know anyone with long term rhythm problems who was cured by the drugs. I hope this helps, good luck!