Ablation done - a few thoughts

I had my first ablation on Monday in Leeds and I thought I'd pass on a few thoughts for the benefit of those embarking on this route.

I did think long and hard about having an ablation. Since diagnosis in 2009 I thought I could simply put up with the occasional fatigue and discomfort whenever AF episodes came along. However, my mind was finally made up at the beginning of this year. I went into what I thought was persistent AF. It lasted 28 days and an electro-cardioversion brought me back into sinus at the first shot. Normality lasted about three weeks before going back into a number of AF episodes again. Not persistent though - they would end spontaneously after a few hours or a couple of days. However it was obvious to me that persistent AF probably wasn't far away and frankly, those 28 days in continuous AF, with all its attendant maladies, made me realise the time had come for what is the only 'offer on the table' at the moment for anything vaguely resembling a 'cure' for we AFibbers.

I found the whole process under local anaesthetic and sedation absolutely fine. A little pain at the groin at the start of the procedure but I told them so and they effectively increased the 'juice'. Thereafter absolutely pain free and I'm not really certain there was much sedation. I certainly don't remember being as sleepy as I was with an endoscopy sedation a few years ago and I was able to follow what was going on throughout the procedure. Unfortunately the small x-ray 'box' positioned over my chest tended to block out most of the view of the screens which is a shame. I'm sure it wouldn't be too costly to install a monitor in place of a ceiling tile directly above the patient's head - just a thought for any lurking hospital managers!

Ablation was completed at around 5pm having taken about two and a half hours. The doctor seemed very happy with the way it went and I was taken back to the ward. After a good night's sleep I woke early next morning about 5.30. No pain in the groin, which I was expecting, and none anywhere else. I walked to the loo with no problems at all. About 8am I began to experience some slight chest pain when breathing in. This, I was later told, was completely normal and can be expected to last for about two or three days. Paracetamol is the standard remedy if it becomes necessary. One of the doctors suggested that it was in fact a good indication that the ablated areas had been done well. If there's no pain they may have been done too lightly, he said. Anyway, it's now Day 2 and the discomfort in the chest has nearly gone. And I feel great! I had one of those vague tummy stirrings after breakfast this morning that used to indicate AF was imminent. Only today, it never came. It's wonderful......

Time will tell how successful it will turn out to be in the longer term but I have no regrets whatsoever about going ahead with it. I'd come to realise there really is no alternative at the moment. Highly recommended!

To Dr Lee Graham and the team at The LGI......one very grateful fellow here.

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27 Replies

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  • So glad to hear things went well. I too had my ablation carried out at LGI and was happy with the experience. Take it easy, which I'm sure everybody will advise you. My chest discomfort went after a few days and after about 5 I could hardly tell I'd had an intrusive procedure. Feet up and look after yourself.

  • nice to hear it went well anf recovery is so far so good.

    So good luck going forward and take it easy.

    I am all but 4months post ablation and bar the odd day or two have been good, TBH I am not sure when I am in AF or not, so from that side of things the ablation has been a massive success, as I certainly knew pre ablation.

  • Great to hear all went well and I hope you stay in NSR for good. Well done!

  • Well done.now rest---- a lot!

  • Yes, well done so now fingers crossed for you.

  • Glad all went well for you and hoping you will soon be 100% fit.

    Jean

  • How wonderful for you and thank you for that positive report.

    Rest up and get well! xx

  • Great news and I wish you a speed recovery.

  • So pleased it went well for you. Rest up and don't rush back into doing too much too soon.

  • It's always encouraging to read a happy customer's report. Do hope it will be completely successful, ACN.

  • Well done, long may it last, reassured me should I need one in the future, so thank for informative post

  • Excellent, so pleased for you welcome to the PA FA club! (Post ablation, AF)

  • I'm delighted to be a Member. Chest pain gone, bruising diminishing - all is well.

    Thanks to everyone for the good wishes.

  • Pleased to hear all went well for you

    One piece of advice - don't go back to work within a week like I did. big mistake that I think put the recovery back by at least a month.

    ......oh, and do remember to take the anticoagulants!!!!

    All the best

  • As if........

    Thanks Dave.

  • Great news. Long may it continue.

  • I love to read positive posts re ablation as I have opted to down this route, although 9 months waiting list, as am now in persistent AF. I think you are right to chose to have it down now as I was in the same position as you, fobbing off the suggestions that I would eventually end up in persistent AF but of course they are right and I did. I too should have had ablation done some time ago as success rate now only 50/50.

    So glad all is going well for you so far and hopefully you can get your life back on track without the worry of it kicking off at some inopportune moment. All my best wishes and positive energy coming your way.

    Brenda

  • :-) so pleased for you. Onwards and upwards

  • Oh, how happy I was to read this, walke!

    I have been following this site every day for months but not posted until now. I've a diagnosis of paroxysmal fast AF & have been by ambulance to A&E, followed by admission overnight on just four occasions in past eighteen months.

    I'm having a "PVI Arctic Front cryogenic ablation" in eight days time. It is a scary prospect, to be sure, but I'm approaching it with as much positivity & gratitude as I can! Your post has been so encouraging! It's great to read of experiences in this way and I'm wishing you a return to health asap.

    I hope to follow your example & write of my own good experience shortly!

  • Can I ask what country you're in as I have similar story to yours - 5 times ambulanced to hospital In last18 months and have had to fight to get on the 1 year waiting list to be assessed for ablation. I am UK citizen living in Ireland.

  • Near to York (the old one!)

  • Good to read such a positive experience and I hope everything continues to go well. With much trepidation I have just gone on the waiting list at LGI.

    Alison

  • Thanks for sharing your experience. It's good for those of us waiting to be given the opportunity of ablation to hear reports like yours. Hope you continue to feel born again and enjoy an Afib free life from now on!

  • Nice for u to put how your procedure went I'm due for my first soon glenfield hospital when me bloods right thanx for the insight all the best m8

  • And all the best for yours.

  • Congratulations. I'm so pleased all went well. Fingers crossed for a complete success.

    I had mine in February and so far no problems. I am in the process of drug reduction now. Already down to 150mg flecanide from 300 and tomorrow a further reduction to 100mg if all is well in 2 weeks I will be drug free. Except of course for warfarin!

    Make sure you rest enough although it is tempting to do more when you feel well. X

  • Thanks for that. I'm taking drug reduction cautiously (only bisoprolol in my case as flec is (was!) 'pill in the pocket' which is hopefully where it will stay now!). I found it very difficult to reduce from the 5mg of bisoprolol I'm taking the last time I tried about a year ago. EP and I have agreed to give it 6 months before starting to step down very slowly.

    Continuing with apixaban, of course....as if I would stop anti-coagulation!

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