A Way Forward

I met with my new EP today at Westmead Hospital, who has accepted me as a patient for ablation. I suffer from PAF and although I am not in constant AF I am a good candidate to prevent my self from becoming a permanent sufferer. I am young :) at 59, relatively healthy, am on verapamil 240 mg and have been instructed to go onto anticoagulants until the ablation in several weeks as a private patient. My chances for success is 80% with the possibility of 1 -3 treatments to ensure that the treatment is successful. I am not concerned about having the ablation nor am I worried about the onset of AF after the treatment, I am assured this is normal and will settle. The reason I am posting is that for those of you who feel getting early intervention may be wrong, then don't feel that way, as it was explained to me, the healthier you are with less damage to the heart is easier to treat then leaving the problem until you become a total sufferer of AF where damage is worse. I have read and watched this forum for a fair bit of time and decided my course of action only because I am not prepared to take the drugs that have been mentioned on this site. They can give you bleeding problem, or fibrosis of the lung (as I am missing one from lung cancer I dont want any more problems) The EP was happy with my decision but insisted on the anticoagulants and verapamil. Wish me luck as my surgery wont be until 6,weeks. I hope that my story now and I will post another after will help with your decision making.

14 Replies

  • I would do the same as you Soozie, given the choice, good luck. I had an ablation 9 years ago and it kept me clear for 8 years, now something coming back so probably another procedure of some sort on the cards. My EP said much the same, a high level of chance of success in my case but would probably need another ablation 5-15 years after the first one. I didn't have anything after the ablation apart from minor discomfort, it was as though I didn't have a heart, it was great, no drugs, no nothing.

    Best wishes for a good op


  • Thanks Koll for the positives we all need them.

  • Hello soozie 12.

    I would just like to say a big thank you for you post...It was just what I needed to read this morning and has inspired me greatly...

    .The reason being that for two years now I have struggled with the medication give to me for PAF..so much so I have discontinued with the Bisoprolol as hard as I tried I could not tolerate the dreadful side affects which got worse as the weeks and months went by...Since discontinuing I have not noticed any deterioration with my PAF in fact I feel so very much like my old self now that the tiredness has gone...

    After a 2yrs requesting to see an EP I have at long last been recommended as a suitable candidate for an Ablation and see an EP in few days time.. I am 66 with no other health problems BUT I am quaking in my boots at the thought of this invasive procedure...At 66 I have to ask myself how much time have I left and it seems to me that after one ablation a second,third and possibly more may follow..

    Obviously I will know more and have a better understanding of the situation I find myself in after I have had the consultation... Your confidence and words of reassurance this morning have instilled in me a new found confidence and I thank you for that...

    I shall follow your posts with interest and will be eager to learn how your are responding to the procedure...


  • Caromia, thank you for your very positive response. Where in the world are you, I am from Australia and the doctors here are a little bit more hlepful when it comes to seeing the EP. I was told last year I would need to speak to the Ep but took my time to decide if I would be prepared to go thru with the op, once decided it was easy. As for the drugs, maybe I am a bit stubborn because the I know the AF is not going to go away, and the life off the drugs just seems right to me, however having said that, we all know that we do need to take the drugs and it is finding the right one, Verapamil is a blood pressure tablet but they also use it as a first line reversal in hospital to stop the AF, it doesnt but in day b to day life it keeps the heart rate slower and works for me. I would be a liar if I said I wasnt concerned about the procedure however I have confidence in the Professor and I think that is the main reason I am going ahead. Life is too short to worry about what ifs, I want to live longer and enjoy it.. Sue

  • Soozie I am so glad for you. I had three ablations form 2005 to 2008 with great benefit.

    Carol you are not old at 66 wand should have many years to enjoy NSR. I know of people well into their 70s having the procedure and it really is no big deal.


  • Thanks Bob I think it is better to get a couple of years free then leaving it and having open heart surgery or pacemaker put in.

  • Hi soozie12 Just to say I had my ablation last August and believe me it,s nothing to worry about in fact I quite enjoyed the over night stay in hospital good luck let us know how you get on.

  • Argzxoni61, a good nights sleep will do me well

  • Hi Soozie. Itoo think you are making the right decision. Although bisoprolol was keeping me in nsr most of the time, like you I did not want to be on for years. I had ablation in November and although lots of irregular beats etc. for about 2 months, all has gone quiet. I am hoping it has worked but if not I would have another. I am off all meds since the ablation ( but staying on warfarin) and feel a lot better. I am 64 and some life left in the old dog!! Good luck and really hope it works.

    Caromia, do not give up. You are still young so go for it if you think it is right for you.

  • Sounds like good thinking. Prob. a stupid question - but why the anticoagulants beforehand? Is this general advice or for your particular circumstances?

  • Plm1 For some unknown reason both the GP and Specialist said no to anticoagulants however the EP insists on my taking them up to and including the op to help move any clots along during the op. It makes sense to me really. There is always a chance of a bleed but that is better then a clot and carking it.

  • My EP said the same and also I had to aim for a high INR just before the op, I think between 3-4 but not sure I remember correctly, but high anyhow. As it happened, I dropped to 2.5 just before the op but they still went ahead with it.

  • Sounds like good choices and doctors... hang in there. Relief in sight!

    Someone who has done the ablation will know better, but my understanding is the anti-coags before are to be sure you are properly dosed prior to going on them again post ablation.

    I've had difficulty choosing the ablation as I am not in constant AF, but boy when it comes it is big... without the meds, so far I cardio convert in 9-12 hours, with the Pill in the pocket version I convert in 5-6 hours.

    Thanks for sharing

  • Good luck Soozie-good choices I think!

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