Age limit to ablation

I saw my GP this morning, about which, more later. Anyway one of the things she said was that the cut off point for ablation is 65, but that there could be extenuating circumstances for some. Is that right?

She also said that her practice partners felt that they were perhaps a little conservative in their prescribing. I am asking for a NOAC but she says she doesn't have sufficient confidence in their safety to prescribe it. If, however, a cardiologist thinks it would be beneficial, she will prescribe. What do you think!?

30 Replies

  • I do not think that there is any national cut off for ablation and sincerely hope not. Few GPs seem to be prescribing NOACs from what I see. I asked the anti-coag nurse this morning if they had any patients on NOACs and she thought not. She also said she thought their policy was AF = warfarin and forget aspirin which is refreshing to hear. .


  • What is noacs karen

  • I don't think.k this is right as there seem to people on here who have had ablation after that age. I will be interested to see the response you get to this.x

  • Hi. I am 67 in July and just gone onto the ablation list for the first of an expected three ablations I am going to need to give me up to a 70% chance of being AF free for up to 5 years. No mention of cut off age at all on the contrary if anything.

    Also I undertake patient feedback on cardiology wards as a volunteer and there are all ages of people on the wards having ablations. By comparison to some I am but a child age wise.

    NOACS, no problems being prescribed them by my cardiologist, EP and GP. In fact my GP positively promotes their use, no cost issues taken into account only individual clinical need.

    Hope this helps.


  • What are NOACs please? I've been offered an ablation when I was 79 but tried the cardioversion first and it worked. I've been AF free almost for three years. Just hate all the meds. Hope you all keep well. Terjo

  • I am taking the new NOACS the one I take is Xarelto 20mg 1 x day . They are working on antidotes as we speak & I believe there is a 14 hr life B4 normal clotting resumes . I have had no problems at all taking this - hope this helps

  • NOACS are the novel anti-coagulants, you don't need INR tests with them but at the moment they don't have antidotes. However, they don't last nearly as long in the system... I believe they are rivaroxaban, apixaban and another whose name I forget...

  • Dabigatran??

  • I'm 67 and have just had an ablation. NOACs are the new alternatives to warfarin which have both advantages - steady anticoagulation and no dietary implications - and disadvantages - expensive, no antidote at present. take twice a day. My practice did not prescribe apixaban - the newest NOAC - last summer but they do now.

  • You say no antidote at present can you put that in layman's terms

  • If you cut yourself on warfarin they can give you Vitamin K to counteract the effect of the warfarin. There is nothing available to counteract the effect of a NOAC and you will have to wait longer before you stop bleeding. You just apply pressure in the usual way. The effects of NOACs wear off eventually.

  • At the Patients Day, an EP said they had done an ablation on an 87 year old woman. He pointed out that was unusual, but they did it nevertheless. Koll

  • I am 69 and had first ablation at 65, since had 2 more and and no. 4 in the offing.

  • Being 64.1/2 and hoping for another ablation, I'm really glad to hear this! Koll

  • I am booked in for 6th sept for ablation and at 67yrs have had afib for 14 years.My specialist says there is no age limit as such on the procedure and that mine will be a longer session than most

  • i didnt think patients could be discriminated on the grounds of age . Something i would look into if i was you. As for newer anticoagulants my GP is is process of prescribing them for me informs me i will be first in the practice so hopefully i am opening the doors for others who need or prefer them.

  • I would be alarmed if my GP were to come out with erroneous statements such as this. Does she prescribe aspirin for AF?

  • I had an ablation when I was 67 years old, but it was a battle. When I went to see the specialist I was told it was 3 ticks and you were not allowed an ablation. I had hypertension and asthma and he said I didn't qualify. When I asked why he said I was over 65 years. I challenged this on the grounds that it surely should depend on the general health/lifestyle of the individual and I was still working albeit for the voluntary sector. The result was I had ablation 1 which was a disaster and ablation 2 which is still going strong and I feel great now at 70 yrs. I had mine done in Birmingham Queens Hospital and cannot speak highly enough of them. All the best. Beano

  • I think the age limit may be an area thing, according to where you live. Some hospital areas don't like ablations at all.

  • Can you say which areas they are? I live in South Yorkshire, and I have the impression that they are not keen to offer ablations to people over a certain age.

  • l had a ablation in 2012 at the age of 75years at Hammersmith hospital and age wasn't mentioned

  • I was told that at if there was an age limit, which there wasn't at 65 I would be nowhere near it


  • I had my first ablation of three at about age 72 and my last at age 78. It has lasted for three and half years with no meds except Warfarin. I am now, however, on rate controlling meds. I believe that the decision for or against ablation is usually made based on ones overall health.

  • I have never heard of an age cut off for ablation. My father had his ablation done in his late 70's early 80's. I am assuming that you are referring to what your General Doctor is telling you. Go by what your cardiologist says is best for you. That is their specialty and trust what they are telling you. Good luck.

  • Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It would seem that there is no cut off point for the majority. Maybe it's a Surrey thing, anyway I shan't leave it there. It is annoying and concerning to note that my GP will happily endorse and continue a NOAC script, as long as the cardiologist makes the decision.

    Thanks again for your time.

  • Peddling, I am in Surrey and asked to be referred to the Brompton where I was given an EP appointment- I think it depends on one's symptons, not age, so do insist on second opinions/ choose and book etc, which you have a right to.

    regarding the new anti-coagulants, I have read that if there was a serious issue, they can do dialysis if need be so although there is no antidote at present I think there are things that can be done in extreme (unlikely) circumstances!

  • Hi rosyG,

    I have an appt. with cardiologist inJune but think I will seek a private consult before then. Thanks too for the info re new anti coags. Don't suppose you recall where it came from. I'd like to inform my GP.

  • As far as I am aware there is no age limit to ablation . I have undergone two at St.Barts. & they now wish to do a third for Atrial Tachycardia but I am 83yrs. old in 6 weeks time & I have had enough. as I have a feeling that I might "wake up dead" on the op. table?? Your GP should keep up to date with the prescription medicines available. All medicines available on prescription have passed stringent safety checks which are double checked by `NICE`. which has replaced the old `Dunlop Committee on Safety of Drugs.".

  • I am 75 come August and have had 2 cardioversions neither of which worked. The hospital where my cardiologist is does not do ablations at all, so I went privately to another one. there I was told basically at my age the risk was greater than the chance of a successful ablation, especially as i have had 2 cardioversions that were not successful.

    He said to stay on the drugs and maybe vary them to find which were better for me re side effects. If it got really bad then consider a pacemaker/ablate. 75 seemed to be the top age he would prefer to be a limit


  • It used to be 65 but the age limit has now been removed from the guidelines

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