Pace and ablate

After seeing my cardiologist and discussing my options one of those was pace and ablate. This was to implant a pacemaker and then ablate the heart top and bottom effectively turning off the hearts natural electrical system and leaves you dependent on the pacemaker alone. As this leaves you totally dependent on a pacemaker so if it malfunctions you are dead. It does not stop the AbFib just the effects of it. I did not like the sound of this procedure but if anyone has undergone this how did they find it worked for them? I suffer severe breathlessness at the moment and are awaiting a TOE in April to see if the clot in my heart has disappeared . If it has not this was one of the alternatives offered.

10 Replies

  • Hi,

    I had this procedure nearly two yeas ago and it was the best thing I ever did regarding my awful symptoms and amount of hospital admissions, the pacemaker is implanted first then a few weeks later the final ablation.

    As you rightly say it does not cure AF but manages the awful symptoms.

    A yearly check is done on the pacemaker to make sure all is well but if like me some time ago I

    was a bit worried about its function I was able to attend the clinic to have it re checked.

    I have to say I have my life back, I can function as normal and was able to return to work.

    Having said that we are all different but the decision is ultimately yours.

    Good luck going forward!

    Wendi x

  • Thank you for that reassurance. My GP also said that the pacemakers today are much more reliable. I will think about this as I am now 73 and feel my time on this earth is limited and I want to make the best of it.

    Maybe you can answer additional information for me. Can you feel it working, and what about flying?

    Thank you.

  • Hi,

    Have to say it is really painful when it first is implanted but that goes off after about a week,just take plenty medication to keep on top of it, you can sometimes feel a pulsing sensation but it is the machine calibrating itself but it is not painful,

    Flying is no problem, when you have device fitted you get an id letter with it so when you go to airport you tell them before baggage check and they just check your letter and pat you down, don't pass through electric field.

    When heading for UK just explain the same but a bit more thoroughly so they understand, they don't usually ask for any ID of the machine coming back in to country.

    Good luck, anything else just ask!

    Wendi x

  • Just to be clear you would not die if the PM failed. as the heart would still continue to beat albeit very slowly. All heart muscle cells have this ability.

  • Oh dear! I will be 74 in March but did not entertain "limited time" until I was diagnosed with afib last year. And, because I have responsibilities, I have removed "limited time" from my lifestyle so that I dress and carry on as I always have although I did have boughts of depression about afib. I have reprogrammed my mind to "conquer" the disease as best I can.

  • I too was living life without a thought of time, but since developing AF I feel ill most days and so although I don`t worry, I have responsibilities of caring for an autistic adult I have to forward plan for all eventualities. I still live the same just at a much reduced pace like 10% of my usual.

  • I sincerely hope the clot in you heart will have disappeared when you get your results in April. Furthermore, I wish you the best in your battle with afib, and specifically in regaining more than 10% of the life pace that you had. Now, the pendulum has to shift in making you much better.

  • I had surgical ablation (cox maze procedure) during open heart surgery to remove benign tumour in my heart. Eight months later a pacemaker. Can honestly say once settings were corrected for me I've not looked back I'm 62 and back at the gym five times a week. Have flown several times without problems hope this helps

  • That's right Bob

    My EP said they leave a small piece of the node as a backup in the most unlikely chance the pacemaker decides to quit. It's enough to keep the heart ticking over whilst getting help.

    For most people the pacemaker is a piece of cake. It becomes your lifelong friend until it needs replacing.



  • Hi,

    I had this proceedure in July/August last year, and I must say that it's probably one of the best things to happen to me.

    I never had much chance to worry about what was going on as I was at the heart failure clinic on the Wednesday and admitted to hospital that same day (although I wasn't feeling unwell) and the ep came to see me and said they were inserting the pacemaker the next day! I am glad in one way that I wasn't given an option as my quality of life in a lot better.

    Good luck for the future and big hugs!


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