Another question please

Since being diagnosed and hospitalized with paroxysmal AF (200 hrate) (terrifying ) I have only been see by a cardiologist, and given bisoprol and Rivaroxiban . Many of you have mentioned an EP specialist , do you think it would help to ask for a referral , and how is this beneficial? It's all early days , and I'm not looking for an ablation right now ( sounds equally terrifying ! ) Many thanks .

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  • Probably gone as far as you can for the moment if thats been your only

    episode.  I was automatically sent to an EP when the af episodes became

    much more frequent and longer lasting. I dont really know if you can

    request  to see one.   At least you are on the right medication.

    Shirley.

  • They say that if you go to see a carpet salesman he will sell you a carpet.  EPs don't just do ablations but they are more knowledgeable about arrhythmias. If your symptoms do not improve you can always request a second opinion from an EP. It is your right to be treated by whoever you request.

  • Thank you Bob. What is your opinion of Kardia machines ? I wonder if they are re assuring (if you're not in a fib) or inclined to make one even more anxious if you find you're in the sort of a fib that hadn't gone sky high, but never the less very irregular . I really mean for someone like me , new to this  and  still wobbling .

  • My view is that if you are still in a position where you are trying to get a diagnosis then they are great. Many people swear by them and most doctors find the traces usefulin that role but after that I know how easy it can be to become very OCD about such things and constantly check yourself. Since I am of the opinion that the best way to deal with AF is to get on with life and try not to let it become all of your life I also think that they can actually increase stress and worry.  We are all different and only you can judge how you would deal with it.

  • I would certainly advise seeing an EP as they understand the heart's electrics much better than most general cardiologists. 

    But, before you see an EP I would strongly advise you to learn as much as you can about AF, treatments available, side effects, mimimum/maximum dosages, etc.  In fact, try to make yourself a layman's expert on your own condition so that you can ask the right questions and be an active partner in your treatment and its direction.  The AFA website is a wonderful resource for knowledge and advice.

    I have an Alivecor/Kardia and used it very successfully to catch elusive arrhythmias which were never around when I had monitors and tests done.  Both my GP and EP accept them as evidence of events and I feel more content knowing that if something occurs, I can document it.

    Like you, I am not thinking of ablation yet but I do like to have contact with the man/team who may eventually have to perform the procedure - if and when . . .

  • Thank you so much , that's very helpful all round .. 

  • For what it's worth I carried on with PAF for 5 years before I saw an EP and although my first ablation wasn't entirely successful (2nd one on 9 May) I believe getting a referral was the best thing I ever did. At least I am now 'protected' with Apixaban and have a chance to put AF back a few years hopefully.

    When I'm not in AF, as now,  I sometimes think why I'm bothering with all this, but when it comes on again, as it surely will, I'm glad I'm in the hands of a specialist in the subject.

  • Thank you for that, but I have already been given Rivaroxiban and  Bisoprol from the cardiologist. I'm not looking for ablation at this stage , so how would it help to see an EP ? I guess I'm at a different stage perhaps ..I hope I will be monitored by the cardiologist ..

  • Hi Janna, ref your question about the Kardia. I was only recently diagnosed with PAF although when I had the two week event monitor on I didn't have a full blown whammy AF episode.  But enough to give a diagnosis .I decided to get a Kardia and two nights ago had the mother of all episodes. I recorded a three minute stretch, sent it away for £5 to be analyzed and it came back with a really thorough reading. I've printed it off and will be taking it to my next appointment. I found it almost reassuring to read that I was not just being anxious. I've not become obsessive about doing it at all.  I too was put on Bisoprolo but they turned me into a bit of a zombie, dropped my pulse far too low so that I could barely function. I'm off them now pending an appointment with a cardio chap.Hope this helps.

  • I know everyone is different, but in my opinion it is a good idea to seek out the best advice you can get , so I would ask to see an EP specialist if I were you. It is what I did and am glad because in any urgent subsequent episodes, at my doctors or in A&E I have been able to give them information the specialist has on me so they are better informed. I can also see him whenever I am concerned. The medical profession are great, but they are not all AF experts!

  • Whatever else, make sure you get a copy of any ECGs that are done - you're entitled to them and it will make life easier down the line if you have all the information together.

    Caroline

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