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AF Association
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Meds, cardioversion, ablation

At what point do most people decide to have an ablation? I have been in af for a month now since a local hospital took me off flecanide. I am on diltiazem and digoxin and still out of rhythm. My cardiologist is now putting me back on flecanide and if that doesn't put me into sinus rhythm he is going to do a cardioversion, my second in two years. Beta blockers don't work eithervdue to wheezing. So if this cardioversion falls I Will have to look at ablation. What is the success rate? Very nervous about it. One specialist said i was too old at 60 for it to work. If the drugs cause problems too what hope is there for af sufferers

9 Replies

I would like to use a bad word there> I was 60 when I had my first ablation and another two later (three in all) I have been AF free for six +years. I really had no worries about the procedure and after the first the second and third were easy decisions. I wouldn't think twice but then I really wanted to be normal again.


PS O K so who said you are not normal. Come on own up !


Like Bob I was 60 when I had my first ablation and 62 for the second. What a cheek to say you are too old! I had had Tachycardic PAF for about 6 years before I had my first ablation.



About the age thing, I think the cardiologist meant I was too old for an ablation to work! Yet my current doc who is an EP has suggested it along with other ideas


I specifically asked my EP at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital about the cut off age. He said 80. I rather suppose that it will depend on your condition too.

I have never had a cardioversion. I had an ablation 5 weeks ago and apparently my heart fibrillated then and had to be shocked.

I refused a referal from my Cardiologist to an EP initially but changed my mind as my condition deteriorated. Seeing the EP was the best thing that I ever did. The ablation was 5 weeks ago and I haven't felt my heart once since then. I'm still tired and having to pace myself but I'm blaming the anaesthetic. And Bob says it'll take months!!!


I wondered why you went straight for the ablation rather than trying a cardioversion first.


Although I had received various treatments for AF over 5 years I had never been offered a cardioversion at any stage. During one appointment with the Cardiologist at our local hospital he told me that he'd done 5 that morning. I really don't understand it either!


I'm 67 and had an ablation in March. I think the success rate varies from person to person. I didn't decide to have one. I was getting AF more often, saw a locum GP in March last year and was referred to a cardiologist, who referred me to an EP. I saw him in July last year and he advised ablation and suggested it was about 70% likely to be successful. His waiting list was 8 months long. I wish I had not waited so long before being referred as I am so much improved. I have been able to give up flecainide which is very pleasing.


Thanks for all your replies. I am wondering whether to skip the cardioversion and go straight for the ablation. After the ablation are you able to come off all the drugs? I find the flecanide and dilitiazem lowers my mood. Does anyone else have that problem?



I am 66 and had an Ablation four weeks ago....Dithered for 12 months deciding about Ablation or not but the AF was getting progressively worse at an alarming rate...

I was taken off the meds (flecadine and bisoprolol) five days prior to the procedure which was an added bonus as contraindications of these drugs exacerbated the symptoms of the AF

I can remember chatting with Bob last year at the conference and asking "when will I know I need an Ablation" he replied "you will know" and my guess it will be the same for you....You will know when the time is right.....

My advice to you would be sooner rather than later....

"Life is to short to drink the house wine" and it's your quality of life that matters....



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