Could anyone tell me, when is it necessary to fit a Pacemaker after Ablation .Also what experiences have people had with notifying the DVLA

My GP told me that I would probably need both done very soon after my initial diagnosis. Wondering if this is because I have not been able to tolerate either of the drugs tried so far which were Bisoporal and Slozem. From the posts I have read it seems to be that post Ablation a Beta blocker is needed for at least a short period. I do have Bisoporal to take as needed and that does seem to work. Taking 2.5mgs every day caused light headedness with a pulse of 42. The lower dose did nothing to alleviate the AF. Slozem exacerbated my hot flushes and I had headaches and burning facial redness. I have seen a cardiologist who has now referred me to an EP. I also have a chronic lung condition, COPD which limits the use of some medications.Thanks for any advice. Previous posts and the AF association leaflets have answered all my other queries which has been a great help. Thanks.

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8 Replies

  • Sounds like your GP may not fully understand all the options. and frankly I would be amazed if many GPs do. The ablation per se does snot requite a pacemaker. Many people are fine after it (me one of them). There is a procedure known as pace and ablate where they fit a pacemaker and then after it has been established for a few weeks they ablate the AV node which is the hearts natural pacemaker. The implanted device then takes over pacing the heart but only the ventricle. This procedure doesn't stop[ the AF but means that the heart continues pumping normally controlled by the pacemaker.

    Quite why he may think you would need to go this route is not for me to say. You need to talk to proper experts like an electrophysiologist and get your treatment sorted by some body who know the drill..Looks like you are on the right route.


  • sometimes a normal pacemaker ( not one used with pace and ablate) is needed in order to let you take medications safely Also. if a pacemaker speeds up a slow heart beat, it help to keep a regular rhythm going

    However, if you have ablation that works well, you might not need a pacemaker to enable you to have medication- as you won't need the medication I have a slow resting pulse and may need a pacemaker when older but not yet!

  • Dear RosyG, I wondered if you had a similar problem to mine? I have infrahisian disease, so although I have atrial tachycardia (query sometimes AF) my ventricles beat slowly. At the moment I am on Rivoraxaban and just being observed by my consultant. I have been advised I may need pace and ablate at some stage but nit really sure at the moment. I have been a bel to get back to a fairly normal life after a year of really not being well. I've been told my condition is very rare and so far only come across one other person with same problem.

  • If the drugs are slowing the heart to that level and not controlling the AF then they are the wrong drugs or at the wrong dosage. Rate control is not the only option remember. Just another reason why early intervention by ablation is the best approach in my view..


  • I think that it always wise to inform the DVLA if you intend driving. Otherwise, if you were unfortunate enough to have an accident any time, even if not your fault, your motor policy might not be valid. There is a simple form on the website ( H1 ?) and the DVLA will consult your doctor. If all OK you will receive a letter from the DVLA in less than a fortnight. I sent a copy of mine to my insurers to keep them in the loop. Good luck

  • Hi Bucc4,Just to let you know you don,t have to have the ablation first,I had my pacemaker fit last June and my ablation in August.

  • No problem with the DVLA just fill out the forms you should have no issues with them.

  • Thanks to everyone that replied with helpful advice and information. I will see an EP in July and no doubt will find out more. The cardiologist did not think that there was any point in trying other medication.

    My query about the DVLA was because on the form it asks, have you had disabling dizzines or fainting in the last year. When I first went to the doctor with this problem I walked about 300 yards to the surgery and the GP called an ambulance. I was also lightheaded for a few days when taking the medication and did not walk far or drive Would be this classed as disabling. I spoke to the DVLA who said disabled means if it stops you leading a normal life. So I assume this would be classed as disabled. Is the decision about fitness to drive always decided after contacting the GP. Thanks for any further advice. Maybe I should ask my GP her opinion.

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