Freezing vs Burning

Went for my pre admission assessment on Friday. Not impressed as they had me down for GA and letters on my file from my cardiologist and EP to say I was having ablation under sedation as problems previously with GA. Was told that if i have sedation then they would use freezing method as only do burning under GA. Also if I required a further ablation it would have to be under GA as couldn't have further ablation under sedation. Was due to have procedure on 12 January but when got home there was a message on 'phone to say it had been changed to Friday, 13th January. No way am I having it on that date and the EP would not be the one I was expecting to do the procedure. Am not feeling comfortable about having the ablation now so have decided to cancel. Does anyone know if freezing or burning is better?

8 Replies

  • Cryo ablation can only deal with any signals coming from the four pulmonary veins. RF ablation can deal with other areas which cryo can not reach. Read up on ablation in AF association booklets available from website.

  • I had RF ablation with a GA.

    Initially cryoablation was scheduled but a change of EP, due to an emergency elsewhere, meant that the new EP preferred RF.. This was a blessing as I am amongst the 25% of the population with conjoined pulmonary veins entering the heart. The cryoballoon would be too small for such a large entry hole.

    GA was chosen because of my size. The EP said that he wanted an anaesthetist to look after me whilst he concentrated on the ablation.

    My AF was ruining my life. I would not have considered abandoning my ablation because it appeared to be my only hope of a cure.

  • Policies vary from hospital to hospital and then consultant to consultant and then patient to patient. So without any further details in your case people won't be able to comment on that aspect.

    I had a RF ablation under sedation and many on here have had multiple RF ablations under sedation.

    Very difficult to say which is best because of many different factors, some given above.

    My perception is that the trend in the last year or so is to do a cryo ablation first and then if it doesn't fully succeed then do an RF one. Advantages are that overall cryo is better at creating a solid barrier where veins enter the heart (but doesn't work for everyone). Hence if just in veins higher success first time for the majority. Cryo is also much quicker so therefore they can treat more.

    I'm not medically qualified.

  • I had 2 ablations with sedation, depends upon the protocols for that EP and hospital. - And the experience and the relationship with the anaesthetist.

    The person to question is the anaesthetist, if you get to see them?

  • I had a cryo ablation under GA and it has worked perfectly. My consultant prefers to work under GA and in truth, I didn't fancy being semi-conscious all that time. All I can say is that I went in first thing in the morning and was home by mid evening. I don't have AF anymore and it's been positively life-changing. I hope all goes well.

  • Dont worry about the date, i had mine on Friday 13th in 2015 and i lived!

  • I agree. Without sounding heartless I don't think anyone should complain if they turn down an op because of superstition and are then told they will go back in the queue, subject to medical need of course.

  • Thanks for the replies. Decided not to go ahead with ablation at the present time. Arrythmia nurse rang me from the hospital and when I explained that I was uncomfortable about going ahead she said I had made the right decision. Will see how I feel when I next see my cardiologist.

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