AF Association
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First time Ablation

Hi all,

I'm in West Wales UK and am waiting for my first Ablation. It will be done in Cardiff. I am waiting for my third cardioversion at Carmarthen and both previous have been successful for 12 and 6 months respectively. I am 55 and in constant Arrhythmia. I am taking Amiodarone , Warfarin and Bisoprolol.

It seems to me that Ablation is the obvious next step re my heart (I have no other heart problems) as quality of life could improve immensely. I was wondering if anyone on here is under the Heath in Cardiff and if so what the experience was like. I am under Dr Fong Leong and I will say that he was singulary the clearest communicator I have ever come across in the NHS.

I have had many operations over the years for other health issues but am more than slightly perturbed that the procedure is done under local rather than general because of money! Obviously Arrhythmia alone is not life threatening so resources are used elsewhere.


7 Replies

Sedation can work really well for ablations. My experience is that the time just disappears and suddenly you surface and it has been all over for a while and (rather irritatingly) you remember nothing.

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Quite a mix of drugs you have there. We all get apprehensive over any operation. You will find this procedure an interesting experience. It can be uncomfortable at times under the sedation but there is a quicker recovery that way than with a general anaesthetic. If you do feel overly uncomfortable then say so and they will do something about it. My experience has been a very supportive and friendly environment. If you are concerned about any part of the procedure, ask for information. If you are that way inclined watching the screens is quite an experience. Pretty clever stuff. I am sure you will find the whole thing fascinating and it will be over before you know it. My turn next month. Keep Well.

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Although as a devout coward myself I had GA for all three of mine, I understand that recovery is quicker from ablations done under sedation so take heart (pun intended) from that.


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I've had one under sedation and one under general. Don't think it's a cost issue (guessing) because it was my first that was under sedation and it was done privately. I think there may be a medical reason? Next one was NHS and that was under GA.

The sedated ablation was a breeze. They gave me drugs to keep me VERY relaxed, time flew by, it was fascinating being able to watch it on screen. I too was in 24/7 AF. When they started "burning" I remember groaning because it hurt, then immediately heard the word "morphine", next thing I woke up in bed :-)

The ablation was an amazing success. I recovered within days, zero AF for 8 years, no drugs at all except anti-coags (for life I think). I was back at work (not recommended but I'm self-employed), and just had to be a bit careful and not lift things etc.

Not a lot to say about the one under GA, you go to sleep, then wake up. Unlike some other people report, I felt extremely well after both which I assume is down to the drugs???

Have a good one :-)


PS The main worry I had was when I was wheeled into the procedures room, both EP's were wearing "My Little Pony" overalls :-D . Not sure what they were expecting as I was 55!


Ha ha!

The cost thing came from the surgeon... he would prefer GA to local...


Hi. I had my ablation in Cardiff. My E.P. is Dr O Callaghan but Dr Leong is part of the same team and is meant to be very good.

The whole experience was much better than I expected. Sedation was very effective and I remember very little of the 5 hours. My treatment throughout was excellent and I had great support before and afterwards from my arrhythmia nurse. Recovery is much quicker with sedation. A G.A. can take a long time to get out of your system. Good luck. You will be in good hands.x


I had an ablation with sedation..IV diazepam which is absolutely marvellous!! I would never ever get a G.A if I could avoid it. I am a nurse and have been in theatres when I was a student and seen operations under G.A.s...not nice. It is much more preferable to have local anaesthesia and sedation where possible in my opinion. All the best with your ablation and recovery:)


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