Medscape article...placebo effect

I know I did not have placebo effect after my first ablation. Now as I'm facing my second and got such great encouragement from many of you after reading medscape article I wish I had not read itI know on these forums there are all the pros and cons for everything however I have to admit article shook me up as I'm trying to convince myself I need the second which I do in spite of what "they may not know of long time effects of ablation". I already know short term effects of drugs that make me sick, what about the long long list of horrible side effects from heart medications that may effect people. Is it facing the lesser of the two evils? The whole thing is very overwhelming and I just cannot be second guessing myself as I'm trying to get my appointment for 2nd shot at "success".

12 Replies

  • I think there will always be people with doubts and many naysayers about but until the people whom I respect tell me ablation is a bad thing then I still believe in it. Third time lucky for me and I don't call 8 years placebo.

    I do accept that ablation is not a cure as such. merely a way of terminating symptoms but then so are drugs. I also firmly believe that we can benefit ourselves by life style changes which can only do good. AF is a long journey and as I have said many times Eliza treatment is in infancy by comparison with many other conditions. Treatment has always been about improving quality of life rather than curing something which to date has no simple cure.

  • Thank you bob. Remind me are you taking any heart medications after the third? I think not if I remember correctly. Nothing cures it but it stops the burden on the heart correct? From doing more work?

  • Yes that sums it up I think . NO meds for me for arrhythmia although I take two blood pressure meds . My BP has always been a bit high which I like actually as I feel good when around 150/90 but "they" want it below 130/80 and since I can't take calcium channel blockers or beta blockers I am on losartan and indapamide plus obviously warfarin.

  • If a problem is totally gone do to "X", then "X" is indeed a cure in my book. In my case, my ablation cured me, as I am 100% back to normal.

  • I had no placebo effect. I went into my ablation with 24/7, round the clock, very bad AF. I could not even stand sometimes. I came out completely free of AF and stayed like that for 8+ years 100%, and no drugs except anticoagulants, which I'm on for life.


  • Thank you koli that sounds good to me! So happy for you.

  • Agree with both above.

    my first didn't work 1st time but second did -

    my understanding of Placebo is when you think you go through a procedure but it isn't actually performed - but you think it has been so you heal anyway. That is only performed in trials and you would be told at the end of the trial if you had the procedure or not.

    And if that had happened - wonderful. The body and mind are so powerful when they are in sync, people can heal themselves if they believe they can. Not a religious person but isn't that in the Bible?

    I didn't read the article but remember that for every scientific article you read that supposedly 'proves' something, there will be an equally convincing but opposing article. The ability to read a study and truly understand the significance of wording and statistics and the relevance of how the study is evaluated is just mind boggling!

    Suggest you read Doctoring Data by Malcom Kendrick - you will be much more suspicious of any medical article after that!

  • After 4th ablation just over 18 mths ago still on all drugs but still in SR. Placebo? Baloney!

  • PS - 2+ years and counting.

  • Placebo or not, if the symptoms stop I'd have another regardless. Heck, I'd hop on one leg with a frog on my head for a week if the Doc told me I would be AF free for a prolonged period of time 😀

    Of course there are pros and cons with any treatment whether it be drugs or surgical. I learnt the hard way with medication and certainly took my ablations seriously. If at the end of the day you believe you cannot live with your symptoms, then an alternative from a medical professional would have to be considered. As so many people state, it's not a cure, but part of ongoing treatment. It's not without risks, as you know as you have already had one.

    Hope everything goes well for you.

  • I think it is such an individual decision. I take my hat off to all who have travelled the path of ablation. I think about it all the time and have discussed this with my cardiologist. I am on meds and I have to say I have been very good. I suffer from tiredness not every day but I think it's time to give up work for me....not long now. I think if my af was not controlled I might consider ablation. I know it's a progressive complaint but I walk more get rest when I feel tired watch what I eat and totally given up caffeine and any alcohol. As my cardiologist pointed out I would still be on blood pressure tabs warfarin and pip if needed. I see some folks are still on meds after ablation. My main criteria for an ablation was to be pill free...not sure that happens. I am a mortal coward so I sticking with keep taking the pills, I might live to regret this decision but the decision is mine. Very best wishes and here's to a successful outcome. I didn't read the article couldn't open it up. Chris

  • Over a year now since my ablation with no sign of AF and off all drugs. I don't care if the effect is real or placebo, I love it.

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