Pacemaker for AF?

Hi all - has anybody been offered a pacemaker for their AF? I have been browsing around and have read some favourable reports and I'm now curious why we are always steered towards I missing something obvious? Hope somebody can shed some light on this please. I believe there is still an ablation procedure when getting a pacemaker fitted but the outcome seems to be more reliable and longer lasting apart from the battery situation of course....or am dead wrong? Thank you Patxx

12 Replies

  • Hi Pat

    Well of course the reason is that a pacemaker does nothing at all for the AF, it "paces" or controls the ventricular beat of the heart not the atrial one.

    There are a number of different ways a pacemaker can be used of course, but none of them will control the underlying AF, your atria would continue to "fibrillate away" even whilst your heart rate (ventricular) is being paced.

    So people who have had pacemakers fitted obviously benefit from the regular heart beat, but some of the symptoms of AF can and will continue.

    Be well


  • Just to expand a little on what Ian has said, pacemakers can be used where drug regimes would otherwise slow the heart to dangerous levels. Not ideal really but it happens. With Pace and Ablate , which is the normal usage the atrioventricular node (AV Node) is ablated so that one is totally reliant on the pacemaker for ventricular rate. Since none of this affects the atrium it will continue to do its Dave Brubeck impersonation regardless and many people who have had this procedure continue to experience the ongoing AF. In fact I know of at least one person who has had additional PVI type ablations long after P and A in an attempt to control this.

  • In case my ref was too obscure, Dave Brubeck was a jazz pianist in the sixties who along with his sax player Paul Desmond experimented with odd rhythms, most famously Take Five in 5/4 time and other "interesting" beats like 7/6 . Once heard never forgotten.

  • Bob I remember them well. I used to live in Exeter (Devon born and bred) and in my late teens when he was around. Used to go to a club in Torquay to see him, had many great evenings there, great atmosphere. Oh to be young again!!!!!!


  • There is a sax player called Helen who busks outside the Pannier Market in Barnstaple who plays some of his stuff-( if I ask her to) Blue Rondo al la Turk is a good one.

    I think I still have a Brubeck Quartet record stashed away somewhere.

  • Hello Pat, I was diagnosed with AF last year and was put on 1.25 mg Bisoprolol (beta blocker) and Rivaroxiban ( blood thinner) I was taken off the blood thinner because of a bowel condition that bled, but that's another story. The cardiologist and my GP have slowly highered the dose of Bisoprolol to 7.5 mg and the target is 10 mg. in the hope of keeping AF at bay. I had a Pacemaker fitted back in February and it was explained to me that because the beta blockers are slowing my heart rate right down, the pacemaker is there to keep it at a steady and safe pace. I'm glad to say that this has worked for me, I only get flutters from time to time , as before I had full blown AF that would last for hours. I've never had an Ablation or any of the other procedures that some people on here have had, and I have to look up some of the things they talk about as I've never heard of them. I'm new to this forum, and i'm glad that the people on here take the time to share their experiences, I value their knowledge as this condition is so unpredictable. Keep well.

  • Wots difference between a pacemaker and a icd

  • Hi Wodney!

    I have a pacemaker which was implanted because of low heartrate (Tachycardia). It only kicks in when my pulse reaches 50bpm. The ICD is a pacemaker with an added function of a defibrillator in case the heart stops beating. The cardiologist will determine whether you get a normal pacemaker or an ICD.



  • Cheers for that looks like it's a icd for me 😌😌😌😌😌😌😌

  • hi all im still sick as pig but had to reply to this as I read it they fit the pacemaker then a month later they ablate the node and you are on the pace for ever if this is right how can the heart fibrillate tis is what want my team to agree for me some of my friends think ive lost my senses but having stage three copd and acute bronchiectasis age 74 ive o real choice

  • The atrium fibrillates but your pulse should be regular and slower. This should be better for your heart health and make you feel less symptomatic, out of breath, light headed etc. This is what I understand from the very useful video clip done by dr gupta on u tube. However it seems from folk on here that it is not always as successful as he makes it sound. I guess when it is a last resort it is always worth a try. Dr gupta quotes 99% successful ? I imagine it is dependent on exactly what it is about A.F. that is distressing for individuals. For me it is the fast eratic beat. If I couldnt feel that in my pulse I would be happy even if I could still feel a fluttering in the top part of my heart.

    Life never gives us easy answers to our problems does it?

    I wish you all the best with your decision making Squady. X

  • thanks for the info at the moment my bp is 130/64 pulse 76 and the eratic heart symbol has set off but that is resting whatever I cant take ablation after ablation

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