Surgical ablation

Wish me luck, I was originally listed for this proceedure tomorrow 29th, but it was cancelled due to industrial action which has apparently now been postponed. So have been moved to next Wednesday 3rd of Feb, will be in for 3-4 days , getting a bit nervous now, so please keep your fingers crossed for me. Will report back when I can, as this is such a new procedure in the uk, will share the experience, if I live to tell the tale ?.

Chris x

51 Replies

  • sure you will be ok. Am I right in thinking that although it's a bigger op it has the advantage of the surgeon being able to see what they are doing?

    Do let us know how you get on

    very best wishes for the 3rd

  • It may be transthorasic when they do key holes and ablate on the outside of the heart as was described a while back by somebody who was having a dual ablation part surgical part RF.

  • Yes it's a thorascopic procedure, my EP will also do a PVI if required at a later date. The surgeon wanted to do a minimal MAZE procedure, but could n't get the funding. So if this and the PVI fail, the plan is to refer me to Papworth for MAZE, but they only do it via a thorocotomy there, so hopefully I can avoid that !

  • Hi Rosy,

    yes they, make three incisions on each side of the chest, through your ribs and insert a minute camera through one, to see exactly what they're doing and the required instruments through the others.

  • Good luck Chris. Let us know how it goes. I wonder if that's what I'll have done eventually, that or a pace and ablate maybe. Would like to get off the drugs even though they are working at the moment.


  • Good luck. I'm looking forward to hearing your news soon. Do you mind me asking why you are having this instead of the usual ablation? X

  • Sorry I've just seen that have mostly already answered this question.x

  • Thanks Koll, yes it's all about getting off the drugs, have been on Amiodarone for over a year now, which is not good as I'm what they call relatively young. "Relative", being the operative word.

    Thanks Dedeottie, I've had two ablations and apparently, have a very tickly atrium, left and right sides. So this is the next step, pace and ablate being the last step !

  • Best of luck Chris.....look forward to hearing from you when you are ready to burst into print....take it easy, our thoughts will be with wishes, John

  • Thank you, John,

    Am going for a CT scan tomorrow, so will start to become real then !


  • Good luck Chris, really interesting procedure, hope to hear that it was a success and you are fighting fit.

    All the best x

  • Will be keeping fingers etc. crossed for you

  • Good Luck, hope all goes well and you are soon drug free x

  • Thank you SuzieA x

  • You wouldn't be human if you didn't worry but don't overdo it because you are stressing yourself unnecessarily and needlessly, you be fine.


  • Hope so, jhn1, bit worried about how sore my ribs etc will feel later and hate the thought of getting chest drains taken out !


  • Good luck to u, will be interested to hear how you progress.

    I am going to have my second ablation next Tuesday 3rd Feb at QE Bham, the first time worked for about 8-10 weeks before reverting back to AF.

  • Had two at the QE as well with Dr Marshall. Very impressed, great team. First ablation worked 100% for 10 years, and then the second was done to just nip a bit of returning AF in the bud, but it had gone away all on it's own since being diagnosed, so they couldn't do anything.

    Hope they get it this time round.


  • So do I Koll, don' t fancy this let alone the alternatives x

  • Good luck, mine only lasted about 5-6 weeks as well, which is why they want to try this proceedure


  • Thanks rumpie

    Mine lasted about 5-6 weeks as well, good luck


  • Good luck Chris. If this is the new Hybrid Ablation procedure, I had Stage 1 done on 9th December 2014. Was home after 3 days with a bit of bruising around the puncture wounds but only expected that. Although I was In SR. when I left hospital I went back into AF within 48 hours. They told me this would happen and to be patient and to let the scar tissue form on the outside of the heart. Last week I was signed off from the Cardio Thoracic Consultant and now awaiting my appointment with the EP. I was told by the Consultant that I had to wait until the EP has done his bit and then a few weeks later when the internal scar tissue has formed where they Ablated all the gaps left by the external Ablation, I should be back in SR.

    So still in AF but hopefully in the next 8 weeks I will go into for Stage 2 and then hopefully, will be back in SR.......I'm very impatient, but getting on with life as best I can. Walking up inclines seems to be worse now than before Stage 1, but I'm still working, delivering Mercedes Cars to their owners. I'm now 66 and had a very sporting career curtailed by AF,

    but hoping very soon to get back into a healthy life style ?????

    In patient.......that's what they keep telling me !!!!

  • Hi Lastec1

    Had you had previous PVI ablations ??


  • Sao didn't meet the criteria for normal Ablations because the diameter of my Left Atrium was greater than 5. So the only option was the new Hybrid procedure.

  • Hi Lastec 1

    Did you have 6 puncture wounds x3 on each side .



  • I had a lung drain (which needed a stitch& & 3 small puncture wounds which were glued. Plus a cannula & Neck line.

  • Hi apparently, I m going to have, 3 incisions on each side and x 2 drains, wonder why, mmm ??

  • The very best of luck, I hope all goes well.

  • Thank you x

  • Thank you x

  • Chris.

    Sorry it's been cancelled you will be fine, all of us here will be thinking of you on 3rd Feb.Try not to worry you will be in good hands.


  • My fingers are well and truly of luck xxxx

  • I add my good wishes to all the others, Chris. Your reportage will make a lot of difference to a lot of others who will inevitably follow in your footsteps.


  • Hi Fussyface. Good Luck. Sounds really interesting. Who doesn't get nerves? It's human. Go for it!

  • Hi Fussyface, I also add my good wishes for the 3rd. Will be thinking of you and will read with interest your post on how it all went.

    By the way, I have a pacemaker and am now awaiting AV node ablation, as you say this is the last resort but I am 78!

    Angel blessings to you.


  • Hey wishing you all the very best with your procedure,sure you will do absolutely great I am very curious to know whether this would work better for me, I have had two failed ablations for Eptopic beats ,( I get lots of them too). My previous cardiologist said my beats are coming from an ' awkward position ' I constantly feel washed out and would love to have atleast one of my problems solved.

    Do you mind me asking who was it who suggested this procedure to you and do you just have Eptopic beats xx

  • I just researched everything available and discussed this with my EP, who was thinking along the same lines as to what options were available x

  • Good Luck sure all will be well dont worry,

  • Is this a different type of Alation, posts have left me confused

    I presumed all AF ablations were all carried out by a catheter up through the groin area.

  • Hi MickN.

    This ablation is carried out through the chest on the out side of the heart. This one also ablates around the pulmonary veins, but with an instrument that looks a bit like a tiny hair curling tong as opposed to lots of little dots. The aim is to get more effective full thickness scarring. Another alternative is a procedure called the mini Maze, or cryo Maze, in this a box lesion is done and sometimes extra lines, in an effort to block the rogue electric signals. This was always done through cracking the breast bone and not usually for AF alone, but it can now be done through a 4 - 6 cm incision between the ribs. In both procedures the left atrial appendage is removed, which is a little pocket where clots can form, ( I think of it like the appendix, not really needed ) so reducing stroke risk. The problem is that because AF is not recognised by many as being an immediate life threatening condition, then in lots of areas it is difficult to get funding for these procedures. As my medics said when I challenged the availability of either procedure, " if it's new and it's statistics are unproven, it's the first thing for the chop, when cuts are on the cards " So I consider myself lucky, but only hope it's enough as my surgeon would have prefared to do the mini maze, but commissioning would n't fund. I may add that you have to meet the criteria for these procedures. There was some question with me regarding leaking valves.

  • Good luck Chris. I hope it all goes well for you and look forward to hearing your news afterwards.


  • Hey Fussyface,Thanks for your reply.

    I must be honest I feel my cardiologist doesn't quite understand the impact these Eptopics are having on me, I do appreciate there are people outvthere with bigger problems but this is too me , I have had two failed abblations which also caused me an inflamed gut( this was awful as I could eat anything andceas constantly retching all the time, he has told me heat ablation is the only way, so am feeling quite desperate xx

  • Sorry about the predictive text lol x

  • Blimey still seeing to many posts on failed ablations, considering giving this site a miss until my ablation is done, getting more nervous by the day??

  • Look forward to it. It's the beginning of the road where the light is at the other end.

  • Thanks pip-pip

    Not sure i am looking forward to it, but inknowxwhatbyou mean, nice one.

    Hope I am fit and ready for my hols in Barbados come April

  • Me too! BUT for me I'm not sure what the alternative is so hey ho I'm going to just get on with it and deal with the fallout if and when necessary. As I am writing this I have gone into A.F. because the flecanide I took today wasn't really enough to deal with it. I need to take an even larger dose but that gives me visual disturbances. If ablation can help that will be wonderful, if not, I will have to find another way of dealing with it.let's hope Mick that you and I have good result ,at least we will have tried. I look forwArd to hearing your news afterwards. X

  • Dedeottie, as you know I was on 300mgs a day of flecainide before my ablation last March and still had AF. I went down to 200mgs at once, to 100mgs after 6 weeks and then off flecainide completely at the start of July. Bliss! OK, I've had AF once in the last 3 months, not very fast, nothing worth bothering about, went away after a few hours. No complaints! Except about INR.

    So good luck, all of you on the waiting list and be encouraged - it can really work well and move you forward.

    So sorry, fussyface, that your ablation has been postponed - but not too long to wait.

  • Thanks Dedeottie

    I have been quite good lately with my AF, since e awful time I was having pre & post Xmas.

    Contributing factors

    Off Flecainide since January 12th

    No alcohol for a three weeks, not that I was drinking much anyway.

    Change to eating habits, not weight diet have/was remained quite fir for my age(55)

    Introduced supplements mainly magnesium into my eating plan.

    Very little strenuous ( no weights) excercise bar golf at weekend.

    Been off work sick for two weeks.

    Current meds, 2.5mg Bisoprolol & 5mg Warfarin daily.

    Ditto good luck with your ablation and looking forward to exchanging success stories.

  • Hi, I had my surgical Ablation ( stage 1 of hybrid ablation procedure) on 9 December 2014. Had some bruising around puncture wounds but ok after a few days. I only stayed in NSR for about 24 hours after discharge, but was told to be patient ( and I'm not ) and give time for the scars on the outside of the heart to heal.

    I was signed off from cardio thoracic on 21 January and told that my internal ablation would be done in about 8 - 10 weeks. Only then would I be back in NSR, after a few more weeks of internal scar healing? So in all, I'm guessing I will still be in AF until May/June sometime. I have had thoughts of " why did I bother" but I keep being told to be patient. I am 66 yr old male, who when in NSR, is very active with swimming, cycling & coaching rugby, but this bout of AF has really slowed me down. Walking up inclines is a slow hard slog, where only 12 months ago, I could jog up with ease ??? I'm very frustrated with my condition but hopefully it will be turned around soon....Good luck with yours.

  • All the very best for tomorrow, Chris. We look forward to hearing from you. I do think you will live to tell the tale! All good wishes, hope it goes really well.

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