Post ablation anxieties

I only had three lengthy attacks of AF and a few runs within the first two weeks after my ablation which was done 8 weeks ago. I am anxious to come off the Amiodarone as that did stop the episodes before my ablation. Bisoprolol and Sotolol did not work.

I have been told to come off the Amiodarone 10 weeks after ablation. My thoughts are "then what" if the AFib comes back. I phoned the arrhymia nurse to ask if there was a back up. He said no and that I should remain positive. Well I am not negative but constructive as in the EP's letter he wrote that it was likely that I would need another ablation for long term success. However, the rate of success he forecasted was 75% to 80% but then he said I would only have a 33% of getting AFib after the Atrial Flutter ablation.

Does anyone know how I should deal with this situation. I am thinking of going to see a GP at the GP practice who is a cardiologist. I don't want to end up in A & E. My follow up appointment will be some time in November. The NHS secretary could not give me a date but said she would try to get a date arranged before the 25th November.

I want the date to be before the 25th November because I have been given a date for an appointment to see another EP in Plymouth Hospital to whom I had been referred by the Exeter EP because he cannot do any further ablations under the NHS because funding has stopped.

I had my second ablation done privately because my AFib would last for nearly 24 hours and became a daily reoccurence for the two weeks before I was put on Amiodarone which did the trick and gave me some peace. A few weeks later I had the ablation.

Now it is 8 weeks and I have tried to avoid stress as much as possible. Not only that I have done some stretching exercises and walking about 20 + minutes a day and try to keep my weight within the limit. Successful so far, except I have put on 4 pounds but still within the limit. So I have tried to do everything that is required to help stave off further episodes of AFib

I had Atrial Flutter from 7th June 2015 until the ablation in April and then Atrial Fib followed. So it has been a long time in trying to get this dealt with. As you all appreciate it is so nice to have peace and lead a fairly normal life. My heart goes out to all those who still suffer.

Many thanks for any helpful replies.

8 Replies

  • Hi,

    It's interesting about the flutter and then AF. I had always assumed that ablation of flutter causes the `af but it's not that exactly. At our group's talk on Wednesday we heard that often both are going on and that when the flutter is ablated the AF then becomes noticeable in 35% of cases- similar to the figures you mention.

    I haven't had an ablation but I think part of the reason for them is to help get you off the very powerful medications which themselves can cause problems in the long run.

    It may be you need to know more about what the plan will be if you come of meds and AF does re-start- then you won't be quite so worried about it as you have a plan B??

    It may be your ablation might need a short touch up procedure in the future but you know what is involved now so not too bad??

    I hope you are well and all goes smoothly

  • Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, you are right I would like Plan B but the arrhythmia nurse said I had to come off the drugs. (I am doing very well on them at the moment.) He also said that I should have confidence the ablation has worked but my EP wrote that I may need another ablation for long term success. I was advised to stay on the waiting list. Hence, my appointment in Plymouth.

    It seems I have to bite the bullet and come off the Amiodarone. However, I may stay on them for just a couple of more weeks as I don’t yet have a follow up date. I just want a bit more peace. I just don’t understand why a follow-up date was not organised so I didn’t feel up in the air. For that peace of mind I would have to go privately. Well, I may need the money for another ablation after the one in Plymouth. I know I am being a wimp!

    Well, I should concentrate on other things which I have been doing until the EP’s private secretary rang up one month before the blanket period has ended. I suppose I should count myself lucky that I have been offered the opportunity to go back on the NHS. However, I have learned that appoints will not start to be made until November and the NHS secretary said she would try to fit one in before my appointment in Plymouth. So must control myself.

    Before reading your post I have managed to do a 2 mile walk which has helped to calm down.

    Once again thank you for your reply.

  • I think I read a post on here- perhaps bob's- a little while ago which said follow ups are a little way into the future ,as you have the few months where they don't count AF after ablation, as your heart is still settling down.

    Take care - it may not return and, if it does, only a small amount of extra work may be needed

  • Thank you for your post. You may well be right.

  • I've had two RF Ablations. Because the EP makes tiny burns around where the veins enter the heart. As it is a burn it needs time to heal and form scar tissue. It is very common to ha AF episodes up to six months after the procedure. Stay Calm and call your EP for clarification.

  • Thank you for your post. I have not had a bad episode for 4 weeks now. It may be the Amiodarone holding them back or the ablation is at the moment a success. However, I have taken note that I should wait 6 months before being able to make a judgement. This morning I had a letter for an appointment in Plymouth. So if my appointment in Exeter arrives afterwards I shall just have to accept that is the way it has to be. I am not prepared to change the Plymouth appointment because I have already put them off for a fortnight.

    One of the GPS is a cardiologist, he may help in the interim period. At least he won't do me any harm like two of the other GPs. One prescribed an overdose of Bisoprolol and the other put me on Digoxin without the Bisoprolol which I started at 5mg and then to 7.5mg daily. By having an overdose each day my episodes lasted for 42 hours. Otherwise, they would not last longer than half a day. Then being on Digoxin without the Bisoprolol landed me in A & E. The consultants put me back on Bisoprolol 7.5mg instead of the 12mg prescribed previously and I continued with the Digoxin but obviously with the Bisoprolol. When I did get an attack at night I took another 2.5 mg like a PIP. The GP in question learned that I should not take more than 10mg of Bisoprolol a day.

    My episodes always come at night when I am lying down and resting or sleeping but if I rest and sleep in the afternoon they didn't happen then. Could even move and turn on either side which wasn't the case when I went to bed at night.

    So anxieties always have been at their most intense in the evenings.

    Once again thank you for your comments.

  • How much did the Ablation cost privatly if you don't mind telling us. thanks

  • It would be best if you got in touch with your nearest private hospital where they can give you a price. Not all EPs do ablations in a private hospital because of lack of facilities but will give a consultation in their respective private hospitals and do the ablation in the nearest NHS hospital.

    In my case, I was offered to have mine done in a NHS hospital which lowered the price. This only meant that I did not stay in a private hospital, which for the extra cost, only offers a single room and further cost for food.

    I believe the cost various according to the area in which you live. Hence, divulging the cost of my ablation may not be of any use. However, I can say that I believe it was a lot cheaper than if I had had it done in London.

    Good luck

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