Ablate and pace

I've been offered this procedure by Papworth hospital to control my AF although I understand that it would control rate but not the rhythm. I could stop digoxin immediately but would still need warfarin and maybe bisopropol, at least for a time. I'm hesitating as there would be no going back, given that they destroy the AV node in the heart and replace the heart's own pacemaker.Also a bit worried because my fingers have started to go numb, even indoors, so it's not only happening in the cold, and I wonder whether my heart is pumping poorly and whether that might worsen with a pacemaker?

I'd love to hear from people who have had this solution. Is it effective? Has it improved your quality of life? Is your AF still troublesome?


14 Replies

  • It has been considered for me, but I am still not ready. I will go for it if I don't find a solution, as the quality of life is poor. I've heard many who are pleased. Big jump to take but we make it when we are ready and well informed. As for your fingers--- have you seen an osteopath to check out whether your cervical vertebrae are in order? Keep asking your doctors questions until you feel comfortable. Best wishes

  • Thanks, Iris. Sometimes I wonder if I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth, so it's good to know I'm not alone in hesitating. Re the fingers, I have some osteopenia, which might mean it could be a spinal thing.

  • I too suffer from numb fingers. Only since being on medication. I take apixaban candesartan digoxin and bisopropol. Are you on the same cocktail Linanne? I'm seeing my GP next week to get her views on it. Hadn't considered it to be an alignment problem, but as I also have a numb toe most of the time, I suppose it could be.

  • I saw my doctor today about numb fingers and he ordered a vitamin B12 test - may be interesting for fellow-sufferers.

  • Peddling, I'm on digoxin and bisopropol and I suspect they could be the cause or maybe the AF itself. I'm seeing my doctor on Friday. I've read that it's very important to get numbness like this checked out. Interesting that yours is since the medication. I've been on the meds for two years and the numbness began this winter.

  • I was due a Pace and Ablate but I have had mine cancelled now as I have other conditions that have found to worse than first thought so it is not prudent to do at the moment.

    I was concerned about the AV node being removed and reliant on the pacemaker and it seems that if the Pacemaker were to fail which is highly unlikely. Then there is enough natural electrical activity to keep the heart running! It may not be at optimum rate but enough for you to get it sorted out.

    Be Well

  • Thanks for this reassurance! Like you, my procedure was postponed because of other health issues that had to have priority and that gave time for more research and doubts to set in. I hope that your health improves, Offcut.

  • Unfortunately for me it is not looking like anything else will improve but things change all the time!

  • I hope you do get a breakthrough to help your health. Have you ever tried breathing exercises? I've been taught yogic breathing and it helps reduce stress.

  • I was a martial arts teacher for over 14 years and breathing control has never been the problem. I have 45% lung function when flat it is when I go past doing nothing but sitting? I try and keep a PMA!

  • It must be so hard to withstand these health problems after being fit and athletic. Really hope that things get better for you.

  • I have learnt and adapted but never given up :)

  • I too have been given the recommendation to have an AV node ablation. I'm 77 and Dr. considers me frail as I 'm just at lowest weight for my height and have paralysis of one arm due to cerebral palsy. I'm waiting to get 2nd opinion from very conservative EP here in states. Even if he agrees I think that I'll wait since my Afib is at about 8% and I don't feel all episodes.

    However, if one has the node ablation your Afib continues and affects your heart. You just don't feel it. I have heard people who were happy to have had it and others who felt worse.

    If you are younger, remember there's no going back from this procedure.

    Heather R

  • Thank you. I am younger, yes. It sounds chancy - some feel better, some worse - bit of a lottery.

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