stroke risk with ablation

I was diagnosed with AF 6 months ago and my cardiologist seemed keen for me to have an ablation, now booked for June. At present I'm taking bisoporol and warfarin, and apart from a little tiredness, having no adverse symptoms. I've been told that there is a 1 in 200 chance of a stroke following or during the procedure. (I'm 69 so this may be a contributory factor). Does anyone know the risk of stroke with continued medication? Is it greater than with an ablation?

9 Replies

  • Stroke risk is relative as we all have a stroke risk. You are five times more likely to have a stroke if you have AF and are not on anticoagulation but this reduces the risk. If you are properly anticoagulated before ablation then the risks are minimal. Personally having had three ablations I would rather go that route than risk long term medication with all the problems it brings. You must also understand that AF begets AF so while you may be having minimal disruption to your QOL this will get worse in most cases increasing the attractiveness of early ablation..


  • Thanks very much, BobD, for this positive response. But what are all the problems that long term medication bring?

  • Feeling rubbish most of the time! ALL drugs have side affects some almost as bad as the AF they are trying to control. Beta blockers slow you down and make you breathless, some rhythm control drugs can make you feel ill or even as with me and propafanone , give you a nasty taste in the mouth all the time and there are some drugs I would not want to be on long term such as amiodarone. You pays yer money and you takes yer pick. I'd go ablation any day but I do admit that at first I was against it. Only when my AF started to get more frequent did I change my mind.


  • Thanks again. This is the sort of information I need.

  • Hi swatson,BobD is right.,If it,s just that you are worrying about having the ablation procedure,don,t there are risks both ways and the ablation if successful is worth it

  • we risk things in life all the time and ablation risks are there but weigh up the risks with possible benefits good luck x

  • As you probably know the thinking now is that the earlier the ablation is done the more successful it is likely to be. Conversely if you stay on drugs it seems likely that it gets worse and this is always the dilemma. I went for early ablation and had it done three months ago.

    I ha a General anaesthetic and the ep first checked that there were no clots lurking on the atria. This reduces stroke risk. Anyway good luck with your decision. My vote is for ablation

  • Thanks, lallym. You've summed up for me very neatly most of the points to be considered. .

  • I made the decision today to have an ablation went to se my cardiologist he told me the cath lab at the hosp I will go to is being modernized so it will be sometime in November and the EP he wants me to see is going on leave .plus the EPp will want a number of tests done so seeing as my coat of arms is also four white feathers on a bed of custard decision made

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