I so waited for others to post once they'd gone through this ordeal so here I go for all who are curious. I will try to answer all the questions I had prior to my pulmonary vein isolation/ablation procedure.
No GA, general anesthetic, light sedatives for; the TEE/TOE, US or UK spelling, (transesophageal echocardiogram ) , and some for the ablation, and I was cardioconverted once when I didn't return to SR. I was put to sleep for ten minutes for the cardioversion, no feeling of it and no memory. Start to finish about 4.5 hours.
First off, if this works, I would do it again. That should set all the folks to rest who are terrified! I can still feel a small occasional arrhythmia, palpitations but nothing like AFib and no tachycardia which always accompanied Afib for me. This is normal, and with time when the ablation points have properly scarred over, hopefully all will disappear. "Cardiac memory" is still in play. My accountant wrote me a note the morning of the surgery telling me her husband had the procedure a few years ago and is totally free of Afib still today.
The whole notion clearly is frightening even though I have had prior operations and am fascinated by surgery. The more I approached the subject - the heart - as a muscle, the less I was frightened of them routing around in there! I had an exceptional team from start to finish. The micro-incision to the groin , was no more painful than a typical injection anywhere. I notice the incision only if I push on it, and no pain walking. I did not move the leg for the time designated. I do have a huge bruise on the back of my leg. Maybe the tape which held down the compression bandage? In any case NO discomfort). I have slight chest discomfort - very slight - as when you have a nasty cough and breathing very deeply causes you to feel a mild tightness. I truly have to breathe very deeply to notice, a bit more yesterday but by no means "painful".
I did not require a Foley catheter (bladder) despite my concerns that I would be desperate if in Afib so long!
Medications: Xarelto 20mg 1x day for 3 months, Flecainide 50mg 2x day and metoprolol 12.5mg 2x day for 3 weeks.
These choices were made personal to my situation - they are not a recommendation! Just info.
Hmmm, what else? I didn't sleep at all the night after in the hospital as they made too much noise in the halls and I was too proud to take something to sleep. Take it if you have trouble and get a good night's sleep!
The rest, time will tell and I will continue to post the results. Everyone here has been so kind - it made a difference to me going in and coming out! I thought of all my kind friends and family who were "there" for me in spirit, and as they began the procedure you folks were all included in my thoughts as well!
Take care, let's hear it for NO Afib - in whatever manner you each choose to treat it.
Odd moment to say so, but... FOLLOW YOUR HEART!