Post pacemaker implant and AV node ablation

Hi all! I am new to this forum. I think I have always had atrial fibrillation but it has become prominent last year where I became more aware of my symptoms. I've been on a number of medications such as Bisoprolol, Digoxin and Warfarin but it seems the AF is not being controlled so I was then referred to and electrophysiology. The recommendation was to have a pacemaker as this is safe and then to have AV node ablation to treat my AF. I've had the 2 heart procedures already although the ablation was only done 4 days ago. The pacemaker was set to 80bpm. Today, I feel my heart palpitaes when I woke up and got out of bed. I've checked my pulse and the heart rate was 105. Now, I am concern that the ablation was not successful. Any thoughts? Has anyone had similar experienced?

15 Replies

  • I am picking up your post as others who are more qualified than I am will be at work and may not see it until later. I want you to know that it's successfully onto the forum and I want to welcome you. I had an ordinary ablation 3 weeks ago and if it doesn't work then I will have pace and ablate too.

    I cannot imagine how I would have coped without the knowledge that I gained here. You will learn a great deat by looking at the AFA literature and by asking questions here.

    My understanding is that pace and ablate means that the pacemaker controls the ventricle but will not stop the atria fibrillating. It is very early days - the inside of your heart has been burnt. It will take weeks to heal. To- day, I suggest that you ring the arrhythmia nurse or the Cardiologist's secretary and explain your symptoms. This will put your mind at rest. Beyond that you need to rest and be patient.

    Very best wishes and please let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you Jenny. I appreciate it. all the best.

  • I have called my GP today and agreed that it is too early to say that the AF is back. He said one episode doesn't it wasn't successful. Overall, I feel ok. How long did you recover before you've gone back to work?

  • I'm retired but do some advisory work for the Council. It is 3 weeks since my ablation and I haven't got much energy to-day. You really do need to pace yourself after an anaesthetic . 20 minutes pruning in the garden jiggered me up this afternoon. I felt able to cook a proper meal for my son after I'd had a rest. As Bob says you need to allow 3 months for the heart to fully heal.

    I am so glad that you spoke to your GP. Never be afraid to seek help. It's your heart and it's important.

  • I wonder if anyone here has similar experienced of pace and ablate. I am glad I found this forum as now I feel I am not alone.

  • Yes, I know for sure that there are. I hope that they'll respond to you. You may well get responses overnight and your post will be included on tomorrow morning's new posts. They send out all the new posts every day to everyone

  • Hi Ronz and welcome. As Jenny suggests the pacemaker will not stop the atria fibrillating as it only controls the ventricle. It is also very early days as it can take up to three months for eh heart to heal itself . Not been through pace and ablate myself. Only thee ablations so can't say what to expect and agree with jenny you should speak to your arryhthmia nurse of EPs secretary if you are worried.

  • Hi Bob Thanks your response. Prior to my ablation last Friday I was still indecisive but went through it anyway as I had the pacemaker implant already. I guess I feel scared this morning when I felt the palpitation. The AF has really affected the quality of my life that's why even though pace and ablate is the last resort I took it.

  • Hello Ronz11, how are you feeling now after this time, as i am thinking of having the same treatment as you. this AF really sucks

  • Hi Justin. I can see the benefit of pacemaker and ablation. I have now recovered well and living as normal. I'm also back in the pool. My recent pacemaker check up I was told there was no recorded of arrhythmia 😀.

    All the best. Let me know how you get on.

  • Ronz11, I made the decision for a pace and ablate 16 days ago as I was in the hospital due to emergency with a runaway heart due to AFib. I had been in active AFib for two weeks and wasn't able to control it with the meds I had been on for two years- I had AFib for at least 6 years and it continually got worse. I am a woman in my 80's, my quality of life was gone. I didn't want to leave home in fear of having an episode. My cardiologist gave me three options, 2 involved the drug Amiodirone, which from everything I've read is a terrible drug, I've refused it prior to this and have been on Sotalol, 160mg twice a day. It no longer worked for me, and I had continual breakthroughs. My decision was the Pacemaker with an AV Node Ablation. My heartbeat now is a steady 60 to 65 BPM. The side effect I'm having is being tired and weak, however the doctors say my strength will come back and the breathlessness will go away. Whatever the outcome I am happy I went though with it and will have a better quality of life. I was just existing before! It's only been 2 weeks and 2 days , only time will tell! I've read other replies who have said they were very happy they had it done. Good luck to you ! From Joan

  • Hi Joan: I'm new to this group and have just posted my first post. I saw your reply and noticed you have gone through the same procedure my Mum did back in Mid July 2017. The side effects you have caught my eye. Particularly the breathlessness. Mum had the Ablation, then the PM, then the Ablation of the AV Node. Her quality of life has been miserable since the the PM. Would love to hear how life is for you now. I see it's been 3 mths but really hope I hear from you. Cheers Sharyne

  • Hi ronz,

    Yes it seems the only way forward for me because i have anxiety attacks since having the icd fitted. Last one i had was when i was out doing basic things like at the checkout in the shop i could feel my heart racing then all of a sudden a shock from my icd which was not pleasant but it did put my heart back into nsr but i was on edge everyday thinking when af would return. I made the most of everyday as i could go hill walking everyday and life felt wonderful again but 2 weeks and half later i went straight back into af. I have been shocked 4 times in total and gone back to sr 3 times. First time i had 3 weeks relief of af 2nd time 2 weeks relief and 3rd time 2 weeks and a half all in the space of 3 months. Im glad you have finally got relief and i will let you know how i get on. I had the icd fitted last october in italy because when i was on holiday out there i had a cardiac arrest. lucky my brother knew abbout cpr and another passer bye helped before the ambulance arrived. Before it happened i was walking and got a little breathless and then felt faint. I then collapsed but i did not feel absolutly anything just a fainting spell and then waking up in the hospital out there. i have experienced a cardiac arrest and i must admit that the shock from the icd is worse but i accept it. after all its a life saver. I may even have a tattoo put on it saying i love my icd. Thanks

  • I'm sorry to hear about what you've been through. I did experienced panic attack before pacemaker and ablation. Good luck and hopefully, you'll feel better soon.


  • Hi Ronz 11 not sure if you still visit this site but if you do can you please give update on your condition since Pace and Ablate 2 years ago. I am contemplating same procedure before Xmas so any points/tips would be appreciated

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