I recently was diagnosed with AFib. I'm a long distance cyclist and began to experience a rapid heart rate infrequently on some rides. I went through a whole battery of cardio tests and nothing was found and my heart was deemed to be fine. However, I continued to periodically experience rapid heart rates on rides but never at any other time. Unfortunately, I began to have both rapid and irregular heart rates frequently while at rest and on a daily basis (starting two months ago). I ended up in ER a couple of times and obtained a electrical cardio version two times which kept me in NSR dor a bout 24 hours. During that time my cardiologist kept adding meds to try to control-- first Diltiazem calcium channel blocker, followed by Flecanide (anti arrhythmic) followed by Prodaxa (blood thinner). My expectation is that I will go off the blood thinner once the AFIB stabilizes since my score is zero and I was put on it temporarily given the frequent and sustained AFib episodes. I've been on the drugs for two weeks and have yet to experience any relief from AFIB so it is possible my dose will be increased. Since I am in the early stages of AFIB, I suspect that my cardiologist will want to continue with the drug routine to get me stabilized. That being said, and I recognize that I am very early in the process, leading an active lifestyle is very important to me including cycling, skiing and weights. I've done a lot of reading on surgery options. I have read that the catheter ablation seems to be the procedure of choice with varying levels of success and duration. I've been reading about combo procedures that combines the ablation with another procedure known as a Maze. The procedure is known as a hybrid procedure and does not involve open heart surgery with a relatively rapid recovery and an excellent rate of success. The idea is that this hybrid procedure treats the fullness of the heart both on the outside and inside which an ablation cannot achieve by itself.
Again, I recognize that I am early in the process but don't have a desire long term to stay on drugs only and would like to explore this option as an eventual longer term solution. Is anyone familiar with this hybrid procedure and if so, how is it going?