Ablation decision


I had most recent appintment with EP last week... At 48 I have been in persistant AF for just over two years. Ive been electro cardioverted twice... 1st time lasted 4 weeks, 2nd time, lasted just 9 days. I have been treated with bisoprolol, and digoxin leading up to 2nd electro cardioversion when I was put on dronedarone. I now just take bisoprolol.And of course warfarin.

The EP gave me the option of ablation , but reckoned it would take three attempts and after three attempts he reckoned the odds on succes were only 50%..

I really dont know what to do, and would welcome any words of encouragement or discouragement from any one who understands my predicament.

I feel nauseous, tired , lightheaded, occasionally breathless and faint.

I climb regularly, but was advised when first diagnosed to avoid any cardio exercise. Now over two years later I am being advised by both my cardiologist and EP that I can attempt cardio exercise and see how I get on ?....

Has anybody been given similar odds of success for ablation?

Can any body advise?

I find myself avoiding making a decision either way.. And I have to admit to feeling very apprehensive and scared of choosing to have the procedure.. The though of going through the actual procedure and that I might end up in a worse condition?...

Id appreciate any help anyone can offer.



12 Replies

  • David,

    Welcome to the forum and I'm sorry that you have to be here.

    I just went through an ablation about 12 weeks ago, but I did not have permanent AF. My ablation went very well and I am (for now) AF free. After going through the procedure I would have no hesitation on doing it again if needed. My EP gave me 70% as the number for a first ablation and the numbers went up if more were needed. After having AF for the last 13 years and the constant need for meds, I would try any avenue to possibly stop AF.

    I'm not sure about the thinking that it would take 3 ablations. With each one the chances should get better due to more of the pathways being stopped. Who knows... One may completely stop it.

    Anyway... Welcome to the forum and keep us posted.


  • Welcome back Tim, trust your procedure went well earlier this week


  • Thanks Ian, Yes it went well. But then had to leave town for a few days and just got back yesterday.


  • Hi Tim,

    I am due to go in next week for my ablation and I was just wondering

    If you had a general or local?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Sorry, but my news isn't positive.....the only result of my two ablations were to put me into permanent af.....

  • Hi David and welcome. I had three ablations before I was sorted out and like you took a long time to make the choice. Would I do it again? Without hesitation! Somebody wise once said, "when the pupil is ready the teacher will come" and you can apply that to your choices. At some point the condition will just get so bad you will say yes please. If you were in permanent AF with no symptoms then there is little point in adding a risk to your life but being very symptomatic, if there is a chance of relief even for a few years it is worth it in my view.


  • Hi David

    I completely understand the dilemma you're in amd empathise fully however for myself who is in persistent AF I have no hesitation but to opt for an ablation. I like you have been cardioverted twice - the first lasting for 4 years and the second 10 days, I'm also on bisoprolol and warfarin and have been told that there is a 60- 65% chance of success of success with ablation. i reached rock bottom before finding this forum and have to say that it has turned my life around. We all understand that AF is a very lonely condition and the sense of doom takes over on many occasions especially during the night. Knowing that others struggle with this reassures me that I am not alone and that hopefully my AF can be sorted or at least managed effectively. I think I have been in paroxysmal AF for a number of years as I have had odd episodes when my heart has bumped around a lot. None of us know what our future holds but the strength we gather from each other on this forum goes a long way to improving our mindset and ultimately our health and well being. I take heart (excuse the pun!) from Tim who had an ablation 12 weeks ago amd is still in normal sinus rhythm. Your decision is hard but hopefully you will gain strength from everyone here and choose the right road for you. Good luck and keep looking on here for information advice and support. Take care Heather :0)

  • Hi David:)I have had 2 ablation the first one worked for 9 months but was still an improvement to how I felt before, the second lasted 16 months to some extent I got my life back, the way I felt beforeany ablation was really dreadful. The percentage of succes said to you varies I was told 80% or 90% everyone is different. I would strongly suggest you have a second opinion. Regards Beth. I also had paroxamol Af and was very symtmatic

  • I have had numerous cardioversions and three ablations and I am as good as I am going to get without going for a pacemaker. Drugs also control it. I am a lot better than I was though I'll never be as I was before but I work more than full time, travel, keep ponies, garden etc etc. I cannot do very long walks, run, go up hill too far and if I have a very long day I get very tired and unwell the next day. I find having 8-10 hours sleep every single night, balanced diet with plenty of veg (I am overweight and I don't care and nor does my consultant - I'm not dieting), red wine most nights and plan my work so I get some time sitting down most days, works well for me. I live with the arythmmia. It has its uses, boring social evenings or anything I don't want to do I can clutch my chest and say, oh dear I must go home now!

    It also made me re evaluate my life and make some changes which helped me a lot. I'll never lose it but its now part of me.

  • Oh Liz - I must take a leaf out of your book and clutch my chest if I have a boring evening!! Have to say that did make me giggle :0)

  • Been there and done that Liz I too have the same issues as Liz I was cardio verted after surgery it lasted about a month finally found a ep and am awaiting consult appointment this forum has been great for me as well

  • i had rwo ablations due to af which caused a stroke they did not work and the first one terifically painful but then i was given a pacemaker, amerodrone, sorry spelling! was a nightmare, my pacemaker sadly has caused me breathing problems and i am now off warfarin and on pradaxa which guess what can cause problems with breathing so am not getting very far!

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