Hi Folks.

I joined this group in the early hours of the morning a week ago. I was looking for information on just how long you might leave an a/f attack before you seek medical intervention. This particular episode of a/f had started at 2120 hrs the previous evening and after a couple of hours seemed to be fading. However this was not to be and after a couple of episodes of the same I rang 111 who sent a paramedic and ambulance who then transported me to hospital. Following A & E I was admitted and advised that I would need an ablation. This was done on my fifth day, and having had three angyogrammes (three stents) and a previous ep with no findings I was taken down to surgery. I had no trepidations whatsoever about the procedure, the local anasthetic given on previous occasions was more or less pain free and this proved the same. First route up my left side, whilst finding something was difficult to access for ablation, this took about ninety minutes. The surgeon and her team regrouped for an attack from the same entry point but this time went across my body and up the other side. In no time pathways were found and the ablation started. Now, I was of the understanding that this would entail a quick zap and that would be it, but no. Unless I am different, the pathway is burnt out completely and depending what it might be like depends on the strength of the "burn" so to speak. I had no pain killer or sedation from the outset but had to make them aware at one point of my serious discomfort. The worst short term pain I have experienced in my life, painkiller and sedation were introduced immediately through the canular, "bliss". This last part was completed in approx forty minutes, we then had to wait for half an hour to see if any activity returned, it didn't and it was back to the ward. The following morning it just so happened that the duty surgeon who was doing ward rounds was the same person who had done the ablation and was taking the opportunity to quiz the junior doctors. Her opinion to them was that this job had been a "bugger" and they had used a "blunderbuss" of a catheter. However, less than thirty six hours later I am home, tired but hopefully cured but I know it is early days. Incidentally, the discomfort has almost gone but I intend taking it easy for a couple of weeks. As a bye the bye, I should have had this done in mid summer but at the time was sickening for something else which was debilitating. This turned out to be"polymyositis", something else to add to the leaking heart valves and pyoderma gangrenosum. We all feel sorry for ourselves and ultimately it is only natural to think of ourselves. But those of us who have been on CCU wards no that there is always someone worse off.

4 Replies

  • Hi cable deck, you've been through the mill, but hopefully back on track now. I was interested to see that you have polymyositis to add to your troubles. I had a diagnosis of dermatomyositis in 1994, very similar to polymyositis, only with added skin involvement. I class myself as 'in remission' now, after several years of finding the right combination of drugs. As it happened, atrial fib was also diagnosed a couple of years later. Food for thought, eh?

    Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are both very rare diseases. We must be special!


  • Thanks Jan-Ran

  • Regarding the ablation procedure itself, from your description I would guess that it was RF ablation rather than cryo . A series of small burns are made round each of the pulmonary veins to isolate them electrically so it does take some time. There are four veins to deal with in most cases. There is an excellent book available from the main website (A F Association) which fully explains all aspects of ablation.

    Now rest plenty.


  • Thanks Bob

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