AF 14 weeks post ablation

Had my first ablation at Oxford 14 weeks ago. First few weeks were pretty rough (see earlier post from me) and EP said at 6 week check-up that it hadn't worked and needed redoing and pencilled in date of 18 August for a 2nd ablation if needed (16 weeks after 1st one). Things then settled down, though I've been very careful with triggers (exercise and alcohol) with very limited cycling/running/gym and only the occasional pint or glass of wine, which did cause ectopics sometimes but not AF. Last night I increased to two pints to test it out and within 2 hours was back in fast AF. So disappointing and depressing. So now I don't know what to do. I don't want to have a second ablation on 18 Aug (time off work, recovery, etc) if it doesn't need doing, but I don't know if the AF is caused by the heart still settling down or that the ablation has bridged across? Grateful for any thoughts/suggestions. Thanks, Nigel

4 Replies

  • Nigel I had my ablation at the end of Feb. I had runs of AF after 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 14 weeks. They all responded very quickly to taking extra Flecainide. The 6 & 8 week AF bouts were down to me not being careful and thinking I was OK. I also think my heart was still settling down after the procedure. The last run of AF came really out of the blue. Since before my ablation I have cut back on the beer, but not given it up. I have watched what I eat and if anything now have a pretty healthy diet (Not that it was that bad).

    I told all of the above to my EP at my 4 MONTHLY checkup (Don't know why it took so long) and he did appear a little concerned over the last run of AF. He has always stated I may need a second procedure and I think if I would have said I'm up for another, then I'd be on the list now. I'm still on daily Flecainide and we have decided if I haven't had further runs at my next appointment, then we'll try cutting out the meds. He was always of the opinion that if it had worked first time, then he wouldn't expect any issues after the first two months.

    I've not had another episode in over 7 weeks, but if I did and the meds responded as quickly as they have, then I think I'd be happy for a little while longer. I was pretty lucky with my recovery and my job is office based, so have it pretty easy.

    If I would have been having episodes like I had before and the medication hadn't worked liked before, then I wouldn't hesitate in having another ablation.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.


  • Thanks Jason - its good to hear your experience. Its interesting that the EPs all seem to expect any issues to clear up much faster than one hears from real feedback on this blog. I had hoped to be able to have a couple of pints by now though, but hey ho - that's life. I am lucky in that I get private medical cover through work, so have more flexibility in dates for another ablation, so I'm thinking now of putting it off from 18 Aug for say another 2 - 3 months to give the heart a real chance to recover. Cheers, Nigel

  • It may be a little early but that said I know of trials recently where people were automatically entered for a second ablation at three months so it isn't out of the question. I think you know that alcohol is now a complete no no for you at least for the forsee-able future. I was off it for ten years or more till a few years after my last successful ablation but still treat it with respect. If you actually had full blown AF and not just some ectopics then I think one can assume that you need a second ablation rather than spend the rest of your natural on drugs (Anticoagulants apart). If the EP is willing and the CCG are prepared to go with it then I don't think I would look a gift horse etc. if in your shoes.

    Personal opinion only.


  • Bob, many thanks - that's really useful in helping my decision making. Totally agree that I don't want to be on AF meds long term - it was bad enough accepting that I need to be on anti-coags (Dabigatran) for ever! Nigel

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