No work and no AF

Hello, since stopping work on 23rd December and having a good rest over the Christmas break, my irregular heartbeat has become more regular! My dad, uncle and 1st cousin all have AF, but as well as it being in my family, I now know that it is made worse by stress and better with no stress! I go back to work and rushing around tomorrow and also have a pre assessment for my ablation, the problem is that i do not feel that my AF is "bad enough" to have an ablation. Please can i have thoughts and opinions as at the moment i do not feel that i need an ablation ( I have been on bisoprolol since June and started rivaroxaban on 22nd December in preparation for the ablation) many thanks in advance.

39 Replies

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  • Oh Rosie......not an easy question to answer, dependant on so many issues especially as we are different and AF affects us in so many different ways. You clearly have a number of folk in your family with AF so you will probably have good understanding of how it can affect quality of life. Stress is recognised as a key cause and you need to establish in your own mind just how likely you are to avoid stress as you grow older. AF is generally progressive and if an ablation is an option, most people feel that the quicker this is done the better. I guess you have had a consultation with an EP if you are due to have a pre-assesment, so I can only suggest that you are guided by him/her as they are the experts. They are unlikely to want to carry out a procedure unless they are confident it will have a successful outcome, even if more than one procedure is required. In my case, I followed the advice I was given and had an ablation last July and I have no regrets.....Best wishes, John

  • Thank you John, I spoke to someone from the pre assessment team today and her advice was to go ahead. It was my first day back at work today and I have many flutters throughout the day, so it looks like I am having an ablation within the next 6 weeks. I am glad to hear that you have had no regrets. Thanks again...

  • I'm as confident as I can be that you have made the right decision.....please keep us informed of your progress and if you need any more information, just give us a shout.....great news!,......John

  • Hi John, I got my date today...24th January and oh my i'm scared but i'm going for it. i will keep you updated. Thanks again

  • Im so pleased Rosie, the day before my first review for my ablation! I see you are having a GA so you will not know very much about it. Just remember to give your ticker time to recover and do nothing for at least a week and not much more for the second.....great news!!

  • Personally if it has been offered to you go for it. The success rates are much higher for paroxysmal AF than persistent AF. The problem is that no one can possibly predict even to the nearest year when you will flip to persistent (you may not). For the vast majority AF progressively gets worse. The fact that having been stress free and things have improved means that is one of the triggers which is one of the very unpredictable ones!

    Good luck.

  • Thank you Peter, yes unfortunately life can not be stress free and today, on my first day back to work, I had many flutters. I am having the ablation within the next 6 weeks when i have the best chance of success, relatively young, "fit" and paroxysmal. I will keep you posted.

  • Many EPs are of the opinion that early intervention by ablation stands the best chance of a good outcome. Why wait till it is more established and much more difficult to sort out? Only you can make the choice but all I keep seeing is people here saying they wished they had done it when first offered rather than waiting till it got worse. Ask Booboo how she feels having cancelled hers last year ? I think I know what she would say having just had ten days straight of AF. !

  • Thank you Bob, after speaking to someone from the pre assessment team today and reading the helpful posts here, I am having the ablation within the next 6 weeks!

  • In that case I presume you are on warfarin since this is usually a pre-requisite for ablation . I had to be in range for four consecutive weeks but I was anticoagulated for about three months at my EPs request waiting for a slot.

  • Hi Bob, im not on Warfarin, but have been on rivaroxaban since 22nd December. according to the pre assessment nurse i can have my ablation after the 16th January. Today i got a call to say that my date is 24th January at Barts. I too thought i had to be on them 3 months prior to ablation???

  • They will probably to a TOE to check for clots as seems to be the norm these days.

  • What is a TOE? I know they check for blood clots first after ive been given the GA...down my throat!

  • Trans oesophageal echocardiogram. They stick an ultrasound thingy down your throat to take picture of your heart to check for clots.

  • Yes that sounds right, I dint know the name....luckily i will be out for the count!

  • I'm under Barts as well.

  • Who is your EP?

  • Hi Peter, I am not sure if you got my last message, please can you let me know your EP at Barts and any tips for my ablation there? Many thanks

  • Rosie.

    Apologies for not having responded before but I saw it and then completely forgot about responding.

    When I had my ablation it was done in the old heart centre in the QE2 building (at that time some were being done there and some in the new heart centre.

    I had an angiogram done in one of the new Cath Labs in the new heart centre. The ward and lab are very modern. They are very slick and very professional and very helpful. Never too rushed to answer questions. Both buildings were very clean.

    As for tips make sure that you take a sports water bottle that has a valve in it so you have to suck it to get any water out (then you can drink lying down without any water coming out and without choking. Also some lip salve and a 2 metre lead for your phone and / or tablet. Obviously all the usual paraphernalia.

    I'll send you a PM.

  • Thank you Peter and thank you for you tips, much appreciated

  • I have had two ablation and whilst still recovering I feel so much better. There is a book on how to beat AFib. It's from the states but is very good and provides some clear guidance. Best of luck

  • I went from paroxysmal to persistent quite suddenly (I'm guessing a few months). If I were offered an ablation I'd go for it. I had my first in 2005 and I came out without any AF and no drugs except anticoagulants. The procedure was a doddle. I had a little bit of AF come back after 8 years and my EP recommended a 2nd ablation to nip it in the bud before it worsened. As it happens they couldn't do that ablation, so back on drugs now.

    Koll

    PS. My biggest trigger is stress also. I changed my job to help because my previous work was very stressful. Maybe that's another/additional option?

  • Hi Koll, thank you for your reply. It was such a stressful year in 2016 and although AF is in my family i definately feel that stress had a big part in my AF. Today was my first day back at work and my flutters were back. I am now booked for an ablation within the next 6 weeks!!! I am looking forward to hopefully coming off of all the drugs.

  • I would def say take the ablation if it's on the table. I was meant to have one two year ago but due to other more urgent heart issues didn't have it and my af got worse until last year became permanent and as I was so ill with it had to have the ablation done as an urgent case. Since then apart from a few short episodes which were last September have been at free and feel good. I've still got some heart problems but not having the constant af which to me is the best feeling. I would tell anyone offered an ablation to take it as soon as offered.

  • Thank you for your reply, after having a pre assessment today, I am having an ablation within the next 6 weeks!! I have the best chance of it working now...I will keep you posted...

  • I have paroxysmal af and was diagnosed in May. The AF started the September before (2015) and I actually went 6 months without an episode until I was diagnosed. Was told I was a good candidate then but I needed to think about it. It has become worse all of a sudden in that I get it more frequently. Short episodes most of the time but get them weekly now. I'm scheduled for an ablation Feb 8th and I can't wait. Just want to try to get this over with; hopefully we will be successful after one try. I'm tired of living my life around this condition. It's very hard to manage stress all the time, to eat right, to avoid caffeine and all alcohol (these are triggers for me) and always get adequate rest. Plus the strong meds. I'd say if one has a chance for as close to a cure as one can get, go for it. This condition only gets worse as afib begets afib. Im one of those people who really shy away from anything invasive if there's an alternative, but this condition can get very dibilitating and I don't want to bombard my body with all this strong medicine. Plus it's a sneaky little bugger that just surprises you when you least expect it!! Best of luck with your decision. You need to be comfortable with your choice but just keep in mind afib never plays nice.

  • Thank you Jomama,I made my decision today. I had my pre assessment today, and after to speaking to her and reading these replies, I will now be having an ablation within the next 6 weeks. We will be having it done at similar times. I will be at Barts hospital...where will you be? Like you, I am not keen on anything invasive but equally I dislike being on medication. I am not sure that i am comfortable with my choice but now my decision is made!!

  • Hi Rosie, Congrats on your decision! Personally I think it's a smart (and brave) decision. Although I'm nervous, I feel so much better about my decision now that I've made it! I am in the States, so I'll be having it done at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I just can't wait to be over with this. Good luck with yours and please keep in touch as we journey on this venture together. Oh, I read the following posts and they don't offer sedation here as an option...it's only GA and that's the only way I'd want it as well! Keep in touch! Best of luck!

  • Hi Jomana, I got my date today!!! 24th January...yikes!!! Lets keep in touch and i will keep you updated on mine.

  • Wow! That's so soon. Fantastic...even before mine. I can't wait to hear about your experience. Good luck and keep me updated! 🍀

  • Yes SO soon, I was not expecting it. I will keep you updated.

  • Hi Rosie

    I have been given a date for my ablation on 12 January (day before my birthday) and like you was wondering whether to go ahead as I had not had an attack for 4 weeks. However, after having an attack on New Year's Eve lasting 18 hours have decided to go ahead although am really scared as am having it done under sedation due to problems with GA. My pre-assessment is this week but have not yet met the EP carrying out the ablation. He has been in contact with the cardiolgist who I see.

  • In my view sedation is much better. You recover from the effects of sedation quicker than those of a GA. Also many EPs prefer sedation because the heart and body is in a more natural state and they can also get feedback from the patient at odd times if they need to.

  • Hi Peter, this has been hard enough to make a decision to have an ablation and i know that i would not go ahead unless i had a GA. This is the only way I would go ahead even if its a longer recovery!

  • Well that's fine then!!!

  • Hi Clarrie, I wish you the best of luck for your ablation and a speedy recovery, keep us posted. I made the decision today to have an ablation and will be having it within the next 6 weeks.

  • Thanks Rosie. Hope all goes well with your ablation when you have it.

  • I got my date today..its 24th january, so keep us posted and i will do the same.

  • Will do. Off for my pre-assessment tomorrow.

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