AF Association

first time post


This is the first time I have ever posted to the site. I have been reading your posts for a while. I was diagnosed with very infrequent afib in Jan of 2016. Your site has been a wonderful resource for me because I was so scared when I got the diagnosis. I was seeing a cardiologist at the time because I felt so tired and weak at times and I felt kind of strange like my heart was not in sync. I wore a monitor for 21 days and he said it was very infrequent and lasted just a few minutes. I did not have HBP or any other problems so he told me to continue to take an aspirin a day. of course over the next several months it got worse lasting 10 - 30 minutes. That's when I discovered you guys. I started reading and educating my self. I have a stressful job and I could tell the stress along with alcohol were the triggers. I was setting in a hospital waiting room waiting for a family member when I notice a newsletter about a Dr. called an electrophysiologist. I decided that I should go see one and did. That was in September of 2016. I wore an monitor again for 14 days and it showed I had afib 7% of the time. I was surprised because I only remember one episode the others I didn't feel. He also started me on a low dose of flecainide 50 mgx2. This worked really well except that I was so very tired to begin with. Then at Christmas time, again due to stress, I had 4 different episodes of afib lasting a couple of hours. My heart doesn't pound or flop it just feels like it is pumping harder. It is hard to explain and I get weak.

he increased my med to 100mg x2 and so far that has been doing good at keeping AF at bay. He also has suggested I have the ablation. I was scared about doing the ablation, but your experiences on the blog have helped me so much. He told me that the sooner I did it the better my chances are. I agreed to do the ablation and have started losing weight and eating better. I stopped drinking alcohol several months ago. He said that I might be able to come off the medicine. That is the main reason I agreed to the ablation.

Here is my concern and maybe you can help me. My ablation is scheduled for 2/28. I had my heart CT scan last week and blood work. The scan showed I have an enlarged left Atrium and atypical pulmonary venous anatomy. the report doesn't say how enlarged so I really have no sense of what to compare this to. I have sent an email to my provider but have not heard anything yet. I am not sure if I can still have the ablation or if this reduces my chance for a positive outcome. I was just wondering if anyone else has had this situation?

Thank you for listening to me. You guys have helped me through some anxious times. By the way I am in the US and enjoy your language. just for the record I DID NOT vote for Trump. He doesn't represent most of us and we are embarrassed beyond belief.

9 Replies

I guess it's Good Morning to you Dmackie57 - and later in the morning if you are on the east side.

I can perhaps set your mind to rest a bit - the enlarged left atrium is to be expected with AF. It is quite a good way of diagnosing the condition. The even better news is whilst AF causes the expansion, if you don't have AF after an ablation, it can reduce in size.

It's quite surprising how many people have atypical pulmonary venous anatomy. About 25% have only one pulmonary vein on the left side. Very few have only one on the right. You should have two on each side but some people have five veins and that's (I think) usually three on the right and two on the left. There are many variations! Having only one vein on one side means that it is probably larger than normal as the two veins that approach the heart have joined before they enter it. It can make ablation procedures using balloons less effective but if they know the situation, perhaps they will use a larger balloon. The vein can be neatly ablated if an inflated balloon keeps the walls nicely extended.

Hope this helps!


You have Trump, we have Boris, I don't think that quite makes us equal but we share your pain.....

I don't think you need to worry (no medical knowledge though) because an enlarged atrium is often (not sure if always) caused by AF and can improve after ablation. Also my (successful) ablation report said one of my pulmonary veins was atypical and several people have had ablations in spite of having only three veins and though this means you might not be suitable for a cryoablation a radio frequency ablation should be OK. I hope you find this reassuring until you are able to access medical advice.

Best wishes!


Thank you so much. I appreciate your reply. 👍


I have the same plumbing as you. Rellim has described things in some detail. My left atrium was described as severely dilated after the ablation.

I hope that your ablation goes well and that your AF problem is resolved.


Did the ablation help your AF?


I had similar 50mg x2 daily and then 100mg x2 daily which with Mg & CoQ10 supplements and less stressfull lifestyle stopped AF for 3 years to date. I was offered inflation with the same advice but said no as was not impressed by the 70% success rate quoted and coming off the pills is not guaranteed. I have no idea whether this is the right decision as although Flecainide is an old tried and tested drug with no side effects for me, once over a tiring first 6 months, one contributor here suggested it can organise the heart into Atrial Flutter causing them to change drugs and schedule an ablation next month. Good Luck.

PS it's your decision but wouldn't it be cheaper to build a wall around Trump rather than the length of the Mexican border.


Thank you for your reply. And yes most of us would love to put a wall around Trump.


Ah, a fellow yank. Neither did I ever consider The Donald even vaguely believable, let alone presidential. I was just diagnosed with AF last month while at my physical. I had a cardioversion, which didn't even last 3 days, and am on toprol, pacerone entresto and zaralto. They want to redo the cardioversion. I don't really see the point, but am going back to the cardiologist next week. Do we have electrophysiologists over here? I'm new at this stuff. These folks have been wonderful and supportive and a lot of help - certainly more than the doctors. Ablation has not come up yet. That's me in a nutshell. I'm 54. I'm wondering seriously if I should just go back to ignoring the heart pounding like I was before and bagging the meds until I really feel bad. Anyway, I'm a 1 on that Chav whatever scale, so not thinking about it too hard for now has quite an appeal...


Well hello there. What state are you in? I am in North Carolina. I am still trying to get use to the idea that I have this problem. I have had a lot of anxiety about this and I am anxious 😩 about the ablation but I have had some friends that have gone through it and have encouraged me. You will find this website very helpful. I don't even remember how I found it to be honest with you, but so glad I did. I started with a cardiologist but then I learned about the electrophysioligist. As he explained it to me the cardiologist works on the plumming and he is the electrician. He said his goal is to keep you from going into AF. He started with low dose of Med. Because I too had a score of one. And that one is because I am a woman. I am 59. I would recommend you finding this kind of Dr. I wish I had known about the difference from the beginning. The number one cardiology medical center in US is the Cleveland Clinic. I am using a major hospital in my city. My Dr. is suppose to be very good. He does about 160 ablations a year. I am praying he is as good as they say. Good luck 🍀


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