Ablation date

I have received a date for my second ablation. 20th April. I am so so scared and worried...to the point that I am now considering not having it done. Although I hate arrythmias I have got used to living like this and wonder if I should just continue like this rather than risk stroke or cardiac tamponade for a procedure that may not work for me and last time caused me to be so unwell. Sorry for venting...I don't know who I can talk to in depth about my fears. It is bringing me to tears worrying about it all. I keep looking at m children and worrying if something goes wrong I will not be here for them. At least with arrythmias I do still function most of the time. Has anyone else had such fears before an ablation? Thanks xx

26 Replies

  • Hi Vony. I am also having an ablation (my first) on 20th April and can absolutely relate to how you are feeling. I too feel really scared and anxious and can't look any further than the 20th. I am having dreams about it almost every night and think about it every day.But...l have read so many reassuring posts on here and spoke to a member of this forum who was very kind and talked me through the procedure. So, let's get our big girl pants on and be brave together! If you fancy venting some more, please feel free to pm me. Thinking of you. Jean.

  • Lol...aw Jean..reading your post is the first time I have cracked my face to smile today!!! Thank you so much. Isn't that a coincidence that we are both the same date!!! I am sure I will definitely avail of your kind offer to vent....a LOT !!! And feel free to do the same. I Just can't believe how I have taken this...I have felt so positive lately and then bang when I got this date today..so soon...i cried solidly for 2 hours...googled the risks..again....rang my EP Secretary to tell her i am not sure whether i want it and have generally been biting my nails and ruminating and worrying all day. Are you having a PVI? Xx

  • Hi Vony, I can really sympathise with your feelings. I was petrified before my ablation and I was unwell for nearly three months afterwards but now that I have properly recovered I realise how much my QOL has improved and that time was only a short part of what I hope will be the rest of my life. 

    Your EP is clearly very sympathetic too and what is more important is planning to take extra care with your procedure. However I can understand your fear of choosing a procedure that carries a risk, no matter how small. If you had a potentially fatal condition you wouldn't hesitate, would you? But this is not quite the same.

    Sorry, I realise this is not helping you to decide but I just wanted you to know that someone understands as you will probably get plenty of encouraging responses telling you not to worry 💕

  • Aw Buffafly thank you for your lovely response. And that is encouraging to hear your positive experience. Did you have a PVI? That is exactly why I am undecided...because this condition is not life threatening and I feel i am taking such a risk without great justification. I have learned to accept this condition and a reduced QOL. Anyway...I am waiting for my EP to ring me so will see what he thinks and try to just take each day at a time instead of all the fretting I have done today. Thanks again and wishing you continued enjoyment of health xx

  • I had to get my report out to see - I had PVI of all veins, roofline and box isolation of posterior wall and CTI line (don't ask! I have no idea) to fix AF/AT, and two cardioversions. The word challenging was used, sounds as though naughty words might have been spoken but I had GA! I have co-morbities (scary term), stomach and lung problems and a fused spine, but here I am, feeling much better and only taking Rivaroxaban.

    So I guess that is encouraging and I wish you well whatever you decide!

  • Yes, absolutely.  I was OK first time, but moderately sure that I would die during my second ablation.  I updated my Will beforehand, made final arrangements and dotted i's and crossed a couple of t's in the weeks before.  It was a long morning and I wrote a sloppy farewell note to my other half.  But it was fine, and the third time as well.  That was a sudden invitation at the last minute and there was little opportunity to dwell on it.

  • Rellim296....I was also not this scared the first time. I feel so anxious. Nearly petrified. Just don't know what to do at all. How did you manage to g go through with the second when you felt that way? Any tips greatly appreciated!!! And how are you now? The thought of this not working makes me really not want to go ahead xx

  • I'm in good form now - not totally AF free, but I don't depend, as I did, on daily flecainide.  Such a long way further forward.  I wake up in the morning feeling very lucky to have been offered and to have taken opportunities to overcome and triumph over things like AF.  Years ago many things were less treatable than they are now.

  • PS It was very helpful to have an escalation of AF in the weeks beforehand - it makes it easier to feel it is the best way forward.

  • Vony, I'm sending you a PM.

  • Thank you Finvola. I really appreciate that. Xx

  • Times like this I would be lost without this forum. Thank you all for all your support xx

  • Vony what you are feeling is quite normal I would say but there are several things you need to consider. One is that I am a devout coward yet had three ablations  with no real problems and should I ever need a fourth would go for it in a flash. The next is to remind you that all the things they tell you could go wrong  are very low risk. If they were things that could go right like a lottery win you would think the odds pretty good. Most of the things they tell you are for their own legal protection so your kids can't sue them if the unthinkable happened.  I have met very few people who regret having ablation long term although some were not so sure in the immediate post procedure period.

    If you pull out I can assure you that for the rest of your life you will wonder if you did the right thing. As is said above better than I could, Big girls pants and get on with it.

    Good luck not that you will need it.


  • Is it 1 in 20 risk of cardiac tamponade though? That is really high i think?! I know what you are saying though. Thank you for replying and good to hear you feel it was worth it. Just my last ablation was pretty much a disaster and i ended admitted to hospital twice after it. But i know this is a different time...but more invasive procedure he said and higher risk. Oh sigh!! Sorry...am thinking out loud now lol

  • The comments are personal view and I am not medically trained.

    When was that number calculated?  (I know that you don't know).

    Many of the statistics appear to have been calculated years ago at the start of procedures and then are not updated as techniques improve and experience gained.  I also believe that many were theoretically calculated and not actual.

    To me medical statistics (not just AF) seem to be in a world of their own and appear to be so pessimistic. As BobD says many things are said to prevent claims.  If you work

    If I assess the number of active people on here in the last 15 months since I joined there must have been at least 150, probably 250 who have had ablations. Let's be very conservative and plump for 200.  Let's assume each one has had 2 ablations (there are many who have had 3 or more). So that is 400 procedures. Based on statistical number 20 of those should have resulted in a cardiac tamponade.  However I have not seen one person mention it. Therefore the occurance on this sample is LESS THAN 1 in 400. However it could actually be less than 1 in 4,000 or even smaller than that.

    I remember thinking 2 or 3 years ago when loads of statistics were being thrown around about things that occur when babies are born or when children are growing up that actually every child should experience deformities or major issues or illnesses but in reality of the tens of thousands of children I have known / children of people Who I have worked with (I was in construction so very changeable and large numbers) / people that I have come across in a social setting and yet none had the various afflictions that were being quoted or touted around.

    I hope this provides some practical reassurance. 

  • Haha Peter...I like your commom sense approach!!!!! Thank you. That has made me re group a little and get out of the emotional side of things. I am still not sure if I will go ahead but will keep you posted on the forum. Am going for a lovely coastal walk now as I am in sinus rhythm and it is a beautiful day! Thanks again:))

  • Vony , not sure where you got the 1 in 20 - here is a link which shows a much lower rate oliversegal.com/heart-condi...

  • I had my first ablation 6 weeks ago.. please don't be worried too much..I can honestly say (for me) it was a breeze. afterwards slightly tight chest when I took a deep breath for 2 days.. throat was fine after the camera, groin was no problem ( had a biggish bruise)... first 4 weeks had some AF, ( I was in permanent AF before) now it misses a few beats occasionally and my pulse is a little high but I'm starting to feel so much better..actually have some energy back again...just take it easy afterwards and then slowly pick up the pace a little.. wishing you all the best.....

  • Thanks Trevor. Great to hear how well you are compared to before. Thanks for sharing:))

  • Mind over matter Vony,don't dwell on the negatives,think of the positives..you will be sorted,and come out the other side,and after a while you will wonder why you worried so much,,go for it,good luck pal.

  • Thank you. And i do indeed hope to be saying bollix to AF!!!

  • I hope your ablation goes well. I've had 2 and both were no problem at all, one under sedation and the other under GA. Had to be a bit careful with the groin entry point for a week or so, and my chest felt a bit sort of tight, but that was all. 1st ablation kept me clear of drugs and Af for 8 years. I would have a third if and when offered. But my drugs seem to be working well so no problem at the moment. 

    Koll 🙂

  • Hi Vony, I too have been put on the waiting list for a second ablation since returning to persistent AF after 5 months of NSR. I too am scared witless but I have to balance how I now feel against how I felt in NSR. Being in persistent AF is so debilitating for me and it seems to have come back worse  than before. As AF is progressive and always has the potential to become persistent which is much more difficult to treat, as in my case.  I wish I had had the procedure years ago when I had just a few episodes a year. You need to take it into consideration that you too could become persistent and could you live with that outcome. (Many people do). I wish there was somewhere we could buy bravery and good sense and maybe a peek into the future, that shop would make a fortune. Good luck with your decision I am sure you will make the right one. Best wishes.


  • Hi Vony, I'm exactly the same as you and am petrified about having my first ablation on April. 15th.

    I keep thinking should I cancel it because I am so scared of having a stroke.

    So far I'm going ahead with it but haven't made any plans for after that date because like you I can't see beyond it. 

    What I'm trying to weigh up is the risk against living with permanent ectopics that are so uncomfortable and being on a cocktail of drugs for the rest of my life against the risk of the ablation.

    It's not an easy option and I know exactly where you are at. 

    Be strong and I will add you to my prayers. 

    Luv Denise. 

  • Hi Vony. I remember when I entered the theartre the first time I suddenly got cold feet when they asked me to lie on the table. Part of me felt stupid since I knew that I had to have the ablation but being the first time in hospital it all felt rather strange and all beyond my control. I had a local anesthetic and it was a walk in the park.

    I could not understand why I was so concerned about the second ablation, I had been through it once and therefore had nothing to worry about but, like you had this weird dread.

    Maybe it was because I had been through so much during the previous few weeks and felt that the AF prior to the first ablation in comparison was not so bad. Truth is, I really had no choice but to have the second ablation. I had a resting pulse of 105 and was regularly clocking 175-200.

    BobD could best explain the technicalities but you have to see that the first ablation would have completed most of the work to get you back to normal. The scar has to form a ring around the arteries and if you have a gap develop the AF can return. The second ablation will be easier in some respects as they will just be looking for the leak.

    Ok like me you may be thinking first time lucky, I was not one of the 1% but now I am having to have another operation the risk has doubled, 2%. I would say that your risk has halved since you got through the first, 0.5%. Go for it, and put a big smile on your face when they ask you what you would like in your Sandwich afterwards.

  • Hi Vonny

    Im from Indonesia

    Im going to have ablation this Saturday and im super nervous..i keep googling to find something to ease my mind but end up getting more nervous find the possible risks could happen and it depressed me i feel like i want to throw my phone for stopping me googling

    I need encouragement from the same patients but seems like hard to find bcause in my city this problem less popular than heart attack etc ( my problem is NSVT..LOTS OF PVC VES )..

    Ive been thinking to cancel the ablation but my fams disagree and try to convince me to go through it. So confuse and frustrating i cant sleep well..dont have appetite..just want to lay in my bed doing nothing

    Btw..how is your condition now ? I hope everything going fine

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