on waiting list for 1st ablation realy worried

i have af attacks every few months ,and have seen heart rythym specialist , who has put me on waiting list at oxford for my first ablation , im on bisoprolol dabagatran and ,was put on flecinide ,was told if flecinide worked for me then i might decide not to go ahead with ablation , i have paramoyxl af so dont know if these tablets are working for me ? irealy would like to have the ablation done but iam realy worried about it , because of risks , iwas told to stop tablets 5 days before ablation , can anyone tell me if you can still have ablation done if you not in af at that time

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18 Replies

  • Hi Duckpopper

    Yes, you can still have an ablation while you're not in AF. Often the EP will have an ECG printout of your heart from when you were having an attack and from that he can see where the rogue beats are coming from.

    I have had two ablations and after my first felt so much better, don't regret having it done one bit! Had my second about 8 weeks ago and am now gradually building up my stamina again. Personally, I would rather the ablation than take tablets in case they cause any side effects.

    Now honestly, the procedure is nothing to worry about and you will know very little about it if anything at all.

    Also I have heard that the EP specialists in Oxford are some of the best.


  • thankyou for your reply made me feel better

  • Hi

    I have the same case here exactly , I tried Flecainade in addition to bisoprolol and warfarin , doctor told me if it works no need for ablation , but unfortunately I had AF attack even I'm on flecainide before two months ago so my EP doctor advised me to have ablation which I'm still afraid to take that decision since the risks list scared me

    I had attack every 2-3 times a year , and I had two cardio versions till now , and still comparing risks and advantages


  • Hi Duckpopper,You do not need to worry about being in or out of AF when it is done. I have had three ablations and would have a fourth if ever needed. There is much put on the risks but quite frankly you stand just as many risks NOT having it done in my view. The procedure is long for sure and you will probably be under GA but that is for the good in my view. You will have to lay flat for about five hours afterwards to let the entry wound in your groin heal but after that will feel much better. It will take some months for things to settle down and you may worry that it has not worked but again that is normal. It takes at least three months for the scar tissue which blocks the rogue impulses to form so lots of little arrhythmias may intrude during that period but be patient. Treat you body carefully for a few weeks as even though you do not have a big zip up your front you have still had a major intrusion into your heart and all will be well.


  • Hi duck popper looks like we are in same boat I'm waiting for my first ablation and like you I'm very nervous thankful for kind answers on here but still very scared

    Hope goes well for you salome

  • Hi Duck popper and Salome

    I am also on the waiting list for my first ablation but am feeling very positive about it.

    I was given the option for ablation over two years ago when first diagnosed but declined as I was still too shocked and frightened from being diagnosed with a heart problem.

    Since then I have read as much as possible about it, especially from the people on this site who have actually been through it. From that viewpoint the worst thing seems to be the lying flat and still for a few hours after the op while the entry wounds heal, and then the tiredness for a while afterwards. Even those who did not have a general anaesthetic seem to sleep through everything. That has to be good!

    My EP told me there is a 1% chance of stroke and a 2% chance of a 'nick' to the heart which would cause a bleed which may mean that the procedure has to be abandoned. He also said that I may need a 2nd or 3rd and even a 4th. Though he did say that at Guy's, where I am going, they perform 500 ablations a year and he was very positive about the whole thing and did not dwell on the negatives.

    I know I am getting worse and feel that this is a great chance to get off meds and remove or lessen my AF attacks. I feel very lucky.

    You'll be fine!


  • Angela that is so nice to see another with positive views. I am sure that one of the problems people face is that because we live in such a litigious society doctors have to tell their patients all the little things that might go wrong in case the patient sues them afterwards. In this we we are all at a disservice as the negatives often overshadow the positives.

    I had my three done at Royal Brompton Hospital in London even though I live in Devon as that was where I was referred by the ,local hospital. OK it was a faff with the transport and my wife had to drive up one day to bring me home as they didn't want me going on the train alone. ( conned them another time and told them she was in the carpark but that is another saga). I genuine feel that people know when they are ready for an ablation. I know I rejected the idea for about 8 months until my symptoms became so bad I was ready for anything. Back then I guess it was rather a leap of faith as there was nothing out there to assist which is why I am so keen on helping these days. I never want another soul to feel as desperately scared as I did.


  • Hi Angela, I am also under Guys and saw the EP last month, interestingly I asked about the new technology of 3D imaging of the heart when you have ablations and was told that they already had it, so that is good news! I am fine at the moment on medications, but if and when it kicks in again will be happy to go back to Guys. Good luck. Wendy.

  • Hi Wendy,

    I also spoke to the EP about the 3D imaging and he said they were already using it. I wonder if I am getting mixed up about this.

    They seem to have had 3D for guiding the catheter through the vein for some time but there is the newer technology which pinpoints the rogue electrical pathways for more accurate ablating. I am not sure which he was talking about as when this was first discussed on this forum it was only expected to arrive in UK in 2014.

    Best wishes to you as well.


  • I have had two ablations, I was very symptomatic when in Af, each time I have improved and was very Thankful that I was offered it, not everyone is. I have since had a pacemaker because I started passing out. I definitly feel positive about an ablation. I think the worse thing was being told so many times beforehand the risks, I felt so ill with no quality of life I felt I had no optionx

  • Hi Duckpopper. Had my third ablation yesterday, piece of cake. No bruising to groin area, a little sickness in the night in hospital, and home today. What a relief to be back in sinus rhythm. So far only a migraine to spoil things. I am so grateful to my EP's at EastbourneDistrict Hospital. Dr. Furness is the star of the show, and also Dr. Sulke and Dr. Sagahara. A brilliant team with a fantastic new operating theatre. I'm such a lucky bunny.


  • Thank you everyone for your replies they have made me feel a lot better about the ablation , don't feel so worried now

  • Hi I've been told by my cardiologist that as i only have pafib there is no chance I will be offered an ablation and to continue with the flecanide. Think this shows the huge difference in opinions in the medical profession towards afib

  • 'only have PAfib?' There's no only about it. Paroxysmal AF has been very symptomatic for me and I was very poorly indeed until my 2nd ablation. I had my 3rd ablation last Thursday and am doing well and back in sinus rhythm. Please do try to see an EP as soon as possible. You really need to see someone who knows what they are talking about. Information readily available on the AFA website as to who would be best to do your ablation for you. Keep well. Best, Carrie

  • I have had 3 now over 20 years since diagnosed I would have a fourth or more. All mine have been under local but not a problem at all and I am not the bravest of people.I have other problems that do not compliment my AF.

    Be Well

  • Hi Duckpopper,

    I am just arranging my fourth and am anxious about it, even though I know the process back to front.

    So it is normal to be anxious but the way I look at it is, If it can get you off the meds go for it!!!

  • Hi doghopper I am going into London Heart Hospital 17th Sept for my 4th ablation ,I am on flecinide , bisoprolol, and warfarin , I have no worries about having it done again as trying to live with af has become a nightmare . I have had so many attacks over the last 10 yrs some of which are terrifying . This next ablation is to fill in the gaps so to speak . Ilive in Norfolk so logistics a bit awkward but compared to af its no problem , You will be fine don't worry about a thing , all the best

  • HI Duckpopper sorry got your handle wrong on my last comment . Just had my 4th ablation which they said was technicaly very difficult due to my anatomy , not sure if was successful yet due to that but fingers crossed ,was a 4 hr job under local anaesthetic and sedation . I have to remain on my medication until I have follow up apt in 3 mths, If this one has not worked the next one will be under ga which they say will be better for me and for them , I have every confidence in the eps in the London heart hospital , they always explain everything and look after me as do all nursing staff . my and thier goal is to get me off all meds if possible , good luck all

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